Eighteen months ago a small group of enthusiastic innovators launched the BEST Network with one shared vision – that every student and every teacher, wherever they are, will have access to the BEST Healthcare education. The goal of the network has been to utilize the collective biomedical and technological expertise of its members to efficiently produce and deliver the highest quality teaching resources, promoting use of simulations and personalized, adaptive lessons that foster better learning outcomes.
BEST is the world’s first and largest network of healthcare experts that is designed and managed by academics for academics and powered by cutting edge technology. It promotes the view that, powered by the right technology and resources, individual educators should be able to create dynamic, next-gen learning experiences for their students.
Instead of relying on publishers that dominate areas of the curriculum with static text books and ready-made content, BEST allow academics to collaborate and share. The network gives academics shared access to teaching resources, allowing them to author content together or use existing courseware already created and shared by other members of the community (available on BEST Courseware Catalogue).
The need for complicated infrastructure and equipment, which is fundamental to Biomedical education, is solved through virtual tools and technologies. These include:
- Slice – A shared Biomedical image bank, which currently includes more than 18,000 Biomedical images sourced by Universities worldwide. Slice images are compliant with a profound legal framework that ensures they can be used by any BEST member. Images on Slice also include standardized searchable image metadata and a powerful viewer that serves as a virtual Microscope with embedded annotation and sharing capabilities.
- Smart Sparrow’s AeLP – the Adaptive eLearning Platform powers the BEST Network and provides BEST community members with access to unique tools specially designed for Biomedical educators.
- Annotate – A plugin includes tools for teaching with medical images and creating Virtual Microscopy Adaptive Tutorials (VMATs).
- CaseMaker – A case-authoring suite of wizards and tools.
- Courseware – BEST includes a Catalogue of Rich, Interactive and Adaptive courseware in key areas in the Biomedical curriculum. These various courseware modules were developed by BEST members who use them in their own teaching. There are currently over one hundred lessons available on the BEST Courseware page, which include Virtual Labs, Medical Case Studies, VMATs and other adaptive tutorials. All of these resources can be used as is or serve as initial lesson templates which can be easily modified to address specific learning objectives. Members of the network can also have other members review their courseware before sharing, giving them the added benefit of a second perspective from a like-minded academic. With the availability of the tools and the resources on BEST, we have seen a gradual change in the community members’ mindset. The focus becomes the quality of teaching and measuring of the learning outcome, rather than simply making of information available to the students through links on the LMS and assessing their knowledge through MCQ quizzes.
Because of the BEST Network, teaching is becoming more flexible and detached from the rigid constraints of time and place, which results in better use of time inside the classroom. Educators have become more willing to share their instructional content and data on its learning efficacy. We can only imagine that over time, as educators are exposed to alternative methods of instruction, they will move towards the discovery of the more effective ones—in Biomedicine and beyond.
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On July 23rd the University of Sydney will be co-hosting the BEST Network 2015 Community Summit, a gathering of thought leaders who are committed to making online healthcare education more effective and accessible for every teacher and student.
Come along to meet Australia’s top educators and healthcare experts, be part of the discussion on how we can address the education challenges that lie ahead, learn how you can integrate meaningful online learning that harness cutting-edge adaptive technology to deliver more personalised learning experiences, through deep-dive sessions and hands-on workshops. We will also be launching BEST .2.0 and presenting the BEST services offered to streamline the adoption of online strategies in Healthcare schools and faculties.