3.10 Educational Computing and MyCourses

Office of the Registrar

More... Share to Twitter Share to Facebook
3.10 Educational Computing and MyCourses

Computer technology plays a critical role in the medical education program. Through the MyCourses web portal, students are provided with a rich array of educational materials and course information.


MyCourses, the School's educational web portal, provides a single access point to all educational materials used in the New Pathway and HST preclerkship curricula, including class schedules, handouts, syllabi, discussion forums, exams, lecture videos, slide images, and other resources that support the learning of medicine. In addition, many of the resources available through MyCourses are also available in a format accessible by portable, hand-held devices.

HMS Student Network

More than 150 public personal computers linked to the student educational network are available throughout the Tosteson Medical Education Center. In addition, all tutorial rooms in the TMEC are equipped with computers and large screen display technology, allowing learning resources that support case-discussion to be accessed during tutorial sessions. These computers, which are reserved for students in the MD, PhD, and DMD programs, provide access to a wide array of electronic resources, including the following:

Medical Education Programs

Literature searching: Countway Digital Library

Internet accessibility

Electronic mail

Word processing



FREIDA (residency program database)

Mobile Resources: MyCourses>Applications>Mobile Resources

Mobile Device Requirement

Beginning in Academic Year 2012-2013, all first- and second-year MD and DMD students are required to have a “smart mobile” device.

Mobile devices will frequently be used in the classroom in conjunction with audience response systems. The Program in Medical Education, through the Office of Curriculum Services, will distribute information about audience response software to all New Pathway and HST MD students and DMD students in Years I and II. There is no additional cost for this application. Other free and discounted medical-related mobile applications can be downloaded from MyCourses.

The operating system of the mobile device must be android 2.3 (or higher) or Apple iOS 4.1 (or higher). The device must be WiFi capable. Students may choose their own devices (tablets or smartphones), e.g., iPad, Galaxy Tab, iPhone, Droid Razr Maxx, iPod Touch 4thgen.

Students are expected to carry their charged mobile device to all course-related activities. All venues that require student participation with a mobile device will have WiFi available, so using a device with WiFi connectivity for this purpose will not incur a fee for the user. 

NB: Although not expressly prohibited from meeting this mobile requirement, laptops are not recommended since they are not as portable as phones and tablets and often have greater power consumption, which may not be accommodated for in venues such as the large amphitheaters.

Financial concerns related to this requirement: The books & supplies portion of the 2013-14 HMS student cost of attendance budget is sufficient to cover any additional charges incurred by this expense (purchase of phone, increased monthly telephone charges). Budget adjustment requests to increase financial aid for this purpose will not be approved.

Location of Public Computers

Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC)

Skills Areas on TMEC 1, 2 and 3

Academic Societies

Student Computing Center (TMEC Room 225)

TMEC Atrium

Countway Library

Vanderbilt Halls (Room 302B)

HST Medical Education Computer Lab (MIT, building E25)

Computing Assistance

A full time computer specialist is available Monday through Friday in the Student Computing Center (TMEC 225) to help students make the best use of the School's technical resources. In addition, Student Computing Assistants are available on weekends.

Computing in the Hospitals

HMS students have access to many hospital-based educational and clinical computing systems during their clinical rotations.

Literature Searching

The Countway Library of Medicine (Section 3.16) provides extensive digital resources (journals, books, databases) and powerful electronic searching tools that are indispensable to medical education. Please check their Website at www.countway.harvard.edu.

Electronic Mail

All students are assigned a personal e-mail account, which provides local and remote access to the School’s e-mail system.

Student Computing Ethics

As in all other areas of your academic life, the use of computing technology should be undertaken in a manner consistent with the high standards of professional conduct appropriate to the field of medicine. In addition, the internet and electronic mail may create additional challenges to health care professionals’ responsibility for ensuring patient confidentiality. To protect this fundamental patient right, you should avoid using this medium to transmit information containing patient names or other medical records data that may be used to identify individual patients. When you are doing clinical rotations at our affiliated teaching hospitals, your strict compliance with patient confidentiality rules and regulations is expected, and lapses are subject to disciplinary procedures.

Please see section 7.09 for guidance on the use of social media.

Getting Help

HMS Computer Problems:  617-432-2000

For more information, go to Student Computing at http://studentcomputing.med.harvard.edu/.



Our Mission

To create and nurture a diverse community

of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease