Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) is a public university with almost 22,000 students. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, 36 of which are within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Its history dates back more than two centuries, with some of the oldest study programs of their kind in Norway.
We met with Kari Gerhardsen Vikestad, Head of Studies, and Linn Bjerknes, Assistant Professor, who are part of this forward-thinking university. They are both committed to adopting new technologies and believe that innovation requires cooperation, not only across disciplines and professions, but also between universities. To encourage this type of cooperation, they are now sharing large parts of their educational material with other Sectra Education Portal users. This is their story.
It’s very reassuring to have someone to contact with any questions that pop up.
Sectra is embraced by both staff and students
When we ask them to tell us more about the time leading up to the purchase of Sectra’s solution for medical education, Kari tells us that she’d had her eye on the Sectra Table since 2015. The fact that it could be used for both anatomy teaching and radiology made it particularly attractive. A grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research in 2021 allowed Kari’s dream to come true. Because of her prior knowledge, she was the obvious person to head up the procurement team. Linn has since joined to help manage the implementation of the project as well as training staff and students on how to get the most out of the available cases and tools. They both agree that the best surprise was the fact that they were given a designated Customer Success Manager to help them navigate the project. “It’s very reassuring to have someone to contact with any questions that pop up,” says Linn.
Today, teachers actively use the cloud platform both on the visualization table and on their personal computers. Students also have access from their own devices, whether they are at home or on campus. If they want to use the Sectra Table, they are free to do so outside scheduled teaching hours. “They really jump on the chance to explore as soon as they get access,” says Kari.
Striving to achieve a student-focused methodology
According to Kari and Linn, the main benefit of subscribing to Sectra Education Portal is the vast library of real clinical images, which enables the study of both normal anatomy as well as the pathology of the body. “It’s totally unique, and the 3D rendering offers a completely new way of learning anatomy,” Linn continues. She reiterates that students learn faster now, and the solution has added new value compared to only using books. The students can use tools to pan and zoom or cut in different planes. The on-demand access allows teachers to provide students with links to prepare ahead of lectures. “Sectra Education Portal encourages collaboration and discussions,” she says.
It seems we are always finding new ways of using the platform.
Kari and Linn want to create a student-focused learning environment and believe that by providing students with access anywhere and anytime, they give them the best conditions to engage in self-directed learning. The solution is currently being used, for example, within physiotherapy, pharmacy and nursing studies, and it will soon be possible to add dental technology to this list. The university has even started using the platform with biomedical engineering students looking for a future career within medical technology. “This is something we didn’t anticipate. It seems we are always finding new ways of using the platform,” Kari says.
Cases shared community-wide
OsloMet has shared more than 30 radiology cases that the entire Sectra Education Portal community can now take full advantage of. The idea came about when Kari and Linn participated in a couple Sectra-led workshops. “It’s a fantastic way of sharing knowledge and experience,” says Kari, going on to explain that it is this mindset that led them to share the education material. But they have not stopped there—there are more cases coming! “If we all start sharing knowledge more, we will save ourselves time by not having to do the same work twice,” she says. “We also hope that this will inspire other universities to do the same and, in this way, help build an even greater library of cases.”