3.10 Educational Computing

Medical Education

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3.10 Educational Computing

Computer technology plays a critical role in the medical education program. In AY16, new platforms are being added to the existing MyCourses and eCommons platforms.


MyCourses, the School's educational web portal, provides a single access point to all educational materials used in the current New Pathway (Year II) and HST (Years I and II) 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.

OASIS, Canvas, and MediaSite

New for the Pathways MD curriculum starting in August of 2015, OASIS and Canvas will be the primary platforms for managing student information, evaluation and assessment, and course materials, including class schedules, handouts, syllabi, discussion forums, exams, lecture videos, slide images, and other resources that support the learning of medicine. The MediaSite enterprise video platform will be used in support of all course video content, integrated into the Canvas course pages.

HMS Student Network

More than 75 public personal computers linked to the student educational network are available throughout the Tosteson Medical Education Center. In addition, 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
  • Spreadsheet
  • Presentation
  • FREIDA (residency program database)
  • Mobile Resources: MyCourses>Applications>Mobile Resources

Mobile Device Requirement – See Section 7.07

Location of Public Computers

Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC)

  • Academic Societies
  • techLAB (TMEC Room 225)
  • TMEC Atrium

Countway Library

Vanderbilt Halls (Room 302B)

HST Medical Education Computer Lab (MIT, building E25)

Computing Assistance

An IT Service Desk is available Monday through Friday (8am – 5pm) in the techLAB (TMEC 225) to help students make the best use of the School's technical resources. In addition, Student Computing Assistants are available on weekends from 10am – 2pm.

Computing in the Hospitals

HMS students have access to many hospital-based educational and clinical computing systems during their clinical courses and 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 Harvard 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 issues or questions: 

For more information, visit the Student Computing web site at http://studentcomputing.med.harvard.edu/.


Last updated on 8/3/15