At the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM), we subscribe to a self-paced study tool called Osmosis for student and faculty use. Essentially, it is a web-based and mobile application that makes medical education more efficient for learners. Content, such as Word, PPTX, & PDFs, etc. from UICOM courses is uploaded to the Osmosis system by staff or sometimes even students who volunteer to do it. The Osmosis system scans the readable text on these uploaded documents and links to relevant educational content like videos, USMLE-style practice questions, and references to First Aid for students to use while studying.
I oversee Osmosis for all three campuses and analyze weekly usage statistics such as the number of videos viewed and flashcards/questions created or used. I also analyze student usage in order to help them maximize their time on the site and to use the study plans features effectively.
Each of the three campuses has their own ‘workspace’ for each class. So, for example, the class of 2023 would have three different workspaces for Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford. Students are encouraged to ‘join’ each workspace but it is not required. Because curricular content at each campus is for the most part as similar as possible, each workspace should have the same content uploaded to the Osmosis system.
Faculty are also strongly encouraged to use the Osmosis system. There are hundreds of short videos on various basic science, organ systems, and clinical reasoning that the faculty can assign to students as preparatory work for active learning sessions. Osmosis has recently introduced video playlists. As a pilot, we have been creating weekly video playlists and will query students and faculty on the efficacy and usability of these playlists.