Gone are the days of obsessing over which book chapters to study and wondering what one’s classmates are committing to memory, thanks to the web-based platform eiShare. Created by now third-year medical students Mohammod Arafat, Kevin Fernandes, Melvin Joice, and Dinesh Rai, eiShare allows Einstein medical students to share study materials, collaborate on homework assignments and study more efficiently.
The eiShare/eiResidency team (from left): Dinesh Rai, Mohammod Arafat, Kevin Fernandes and Melvin JoiceIn addition to easy sharing of study guides, helpful YouTube videos and flash cards, the site features interactive discussion forums, bookmarking and an up-vote button, which allows users to quickly find highly rated resources. The site depends heavily on contributions from students and aims to create an Einstein-only online community centered on class collaboration and improved medical education.
The idea for the website sprang from a brainstorming session among the four friends during their first year of medical school, in October 2014. At the time, the project was meant to occupy only a weekend of their time. As they brought the website they had envisioned to life, however, years passed, filled with hundreds of hours of programming, designing and collecting data from other schools on what would benefit students most.
Terence Ma, Ph.D.The site went live in November 2015, after Dr. Terence Ma, assistant dean for educational information resources and professor of clinical anatomy & structural biology, had vetted the platform’s technical capabilities and the group received server space from Einstein. At that time, they launched a beta version of the website to the class of 2018.
“The reception by our classmates was surprising,” said Mr. Joice. “It was so exciting to see students actually use the website we spent months hoping they would find useful.”
“Platforms such as eiShare help make education more efficient because students are able to identify learning resources that work for them and share them with others,” added Mr. Arafat. “Using our site, you can crowdsource your study session.”
Following the positive reception from the class of 2018, the site was released school-wide, allowing it to realize its full potential: younger students now have access to the most helpful resources from the students before them.
Amid the development of eiShare, Joan Junger, director of student activities, wondered whether it would be possible to aggregate students’ feedback from their residency program interviews to help subsequent students prepare for residency interviews.
Joan Junger“eiShare was the perfect platform for the task,” noted Mr. Rai. And thus, eiResidency, a spin-off of eiShare, was born.
Accessible through the eiShare website, eiResidency offers a site through which residency interview feedback from students is organized by class year, specialty, state and city. Fourth-year students can search to see if any reviews of their interview sites have been created by previous students?offering a helpful aid in their interview preparations.
“The intersection of medical education and technology is helping students optimize their study time and better prepare for residency interviews,” noted Ms. Junger.
“The goal of both these websites is to provide all Einstein students with tools to interact with each other online in meaningful ways,” said Mr. Fernandes. “It’s exciting to see how our initial idea took off and is truly useful to our classmates and all Einstein students.”
eiShare and eiResidency are open to all Einstein medical students and can be accessed using one’s Einstein e-mail address and custom password. Plans are also under way to integrate user profiles with Canvas, a learning management system that students use to coordinate their coursework.
“We plan to keep up the momentum,” noted Mr. Joice. “We believe this is just the beginning of using today’s technology to enhance medical education.” While he and his collaborators hinted that major improvements and upgrades to the websites are on the horizon, they remain tight-lipped about any specifics. “We’d like to maintain the surprise,” he said.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 17, 2017