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Upheaval in Education Technology

The Inevitable Reimagining of Medical Education1

“Medical education is currently undergoing a gradual but significant change… At many medical schools, the majority of medical students no longer attend preclinical classes in person but rather watch lectures online, … interactive sessions such as synchronous question-and-answer sessions with faculty as well as student discussion groups.

With more seamless, reliable technology and, more importantly, advances in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it will soon be possible to “feel” as if everyone in a virtual group is in the same room participating in a single discussion. In addition, histology lectures and slides are already largely online, and digital simulations for anatomy dissection are already available and will improve with VR.” 

Out With the Old School2

“The unprecedented events of recent weeks have put education technology in the spotlight like never before. Educational institutions have closed in 107 countries, affecting more than 860 million students and counting. The EdTech sector has leapt to a prominent position, making it of particular  interest to investors as it reshapes the how we learn in real time.

Adults are increasingly required to refresh their knowledge and acquire new skills as they change jobs and careers. Unesco estimates that 10% of global spending on primary education is lost through poor-quality delivery. On the other hand, Unesco data also show that quality education can increase a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita by 23% over 40 years.”

Solving the Skills Crisis in Three Steps3


“In late 2015, The Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning conducted a review of research on the known outcomes of experiential learning. The very skills that are growing in demand according to our analysis (complex reasoning, critical thinking, creativity and socioemotional intelligence) are the ones best acquired through experiential learning techniques.

A growing body of research in neuroscience and the behavioral sciences confirms how these techniques lead to faster and deeper learning. A 2015 study at the University of Chicago used brain scans to show that hands-on learning activates sensory and motor-related areas of the brain. Students who learned this way – experiencing a science concept by doing experiments, for example – understood more and scored better on tests.

The US National Training Laboratory found that retention rates for training through Virtual Reality (a tool for highly experiential forms of learning) are 75 percent, far above the 10 percent for reading-based learning and the five percent for lecture-style learning.  Paul Zak, a neuroeconomics professor, co-founded Immersion Neuroscience, which developed a wearable sensor that tracks production of the hormone oxytocin, the neurochemical associated with empathy and human connection. Working with CaseWorx, a video training company, Immersion Neuroscience has shown that watching a video of a case study, rather than reading it, improved knowledge recall by 97 percent.”

1: Exekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. (The Inevitable Reimagining of Medical Education, JAMA Published online February 27, 2020)

2: Source: 08 April 2020

3: Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture.

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