Synthesis of Recent Literature on Educational Technologies in Medical Curricula

  • Tiffany A. Koszalka
  • John W. Epling
  • Jennifer Lynn Reece-Barnes


A recent call for medical school reform in the USA has sparked a renewed interest in the use of educational technologies to help enhance and standardize the complex medical curriculum. Medical school goals focus on preparing medical students to be physicians who connect multiple knowledge bases to clinical experiences, develop professional competencies, and continually self-assess knowledge and learning needs. Educational technology has been suggested as a critical factor in meeting these goals. Although there is a growing presence of technologies in medical schools, recent educational technology studies in medical education outlets overwhelmingly appear to be solo pilot efforts that are evaluative in nature and primarily describe uses and perceived value of technology. Few report widely studied technology phenomena and produce evidence-based results powerful enough to support uses of technology to inform curricular reform. Medical education scholars have suggested that more interdisciplinary and rigorous empirical studies are required to determine how educational technologies may enhance the efficiency and quality of medical curricula. This chapter describes the evolving process of educating physicians and provides a synthesis of recent themes in the medical school educational technology literature covering areas of adoption of educational technology innovations, technology support structures, design and development challenges, and recent research. Conclusions suggest future research that by nature is collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, and aligns with curriculum enhancement themes.


Medical education Technology integration Medical school reform Instructional design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany A. Koszalka
    • 1
  • John W. Epling
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jennifer Lynn Reece-Barnes
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Instructional Design Development and EvaluationSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineState University of New York Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Preventive MedicineState University of New York Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA
  4. 4.Department of Instructional Design, Development and EvaluationSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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