Showing What Flashcards Can Really Do

Sean Lim develops medschool appSean Lim, second year student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, sees a better way to help student doctors like him navigate the mountain of information that they must learn before facing patients. And to do it, he is bringing together old and technologies.

Flashcards have been a common teaching tool since the education reform of the mid-1800s. But by developing an app, the flashcards that Mr. Lim thinks of as “the fundamental unit of teaching” could take the guesswork out of organizing a very complex set of material for medical students. 

“The traditional way is to make students do some more work than they should,” explained Mr. Lim. “(An app like this) would be a great gift.”

And he’s making it happen. To gain perspective on how to best incorporate curricula into the app and its functions, he has worked closely with Dr. Ted Wong, Associate Professor of Basic Sciences and one of TUC’s first faculty members.

“What I really like about (his) project,” said Dr. Wong, “is that it helps with the organization of the material. His vision is to take curriculum and incorporate it into the platform. That differs from the more generalized resources that students utilize." 

The app-driven cards could also help each student know exactly what material he or she has mastered, cutting out the time and guesswork of looking up answers in Powerpoints and stacks of material. Through a social component, students could even engage directly with faculty about the topic where they need the most help.

“The more frequent challenges that medical students have is how to best manage the time that they have to prepare,” he continued. “The app gives them feedback on whether they are progressing the way that the faculty would like them to.”

Thus far, Mr. Lim has presented his learning tool to TUC’s faculty, and he will show the app at the Innovations in Medical Education Conference at the Keck School of Medicine in the end of February. 

“At the end of the day, we want to see on a student survey that the app has increased student emotional interest in learning, and that they engage more with the faculty at the school using the social forum aspect of the app,” reflected Mr. Lim