Learning Portal impresses at Multi-Organ Transplant Dragon’s Den competition


Dragons Den Fnal PictureThe “learn as you go” method just wasn’t cutting it for the students and educators of the Multi-Organ Transplant (MOT) Program.

As this year’s winners of the Multi-Organ Transplant Student Research Training Program (MOTSRTP) Dragon’s Den competition, Team 2 demonstrated that you could enhance clinical research education among healthcare professionals with a new simple on-line tool that works in real-time.

The online Learning Portal was the idea of students Christie Liang, Imindu Liyanage, Michael Jeannette, Hilary Pang, Rachel Oh, Aryeh Price, George Li, Cha Cha Yang and Johnny Huang. It  allows students to participate fully during a lecture rather than just observing it.

Portal 1
Homepage of the new Multi-Organ Transplant Learning Portal

“It was a matter of necessity,” says, research student Imindu Liyanage. “Instead of reading and answering questions or attending small tutorials- we decided to develop a coordinated and interactive system, which integrates learning with the student.”

The set of modules are focused on research methodology as well as epidemiology and biostatistics. The topics range from an introductory guide on how to conduct a literature search to advanced statistical concepts like regression analysis.

“Each module was designed in consultation with experts in online learning, specialists in the MOT program, and in colour and information theory,” says Imindu. “We wanted these modules to be as effective as possible for MOT students and staff.”

“Narrated modules, an events tab, secure financial processing capabilities and a precise grade tracking system for staff and students to observe are just a few of the features that this Learning Portal will offer the MOT program,” he says.

Team 2 worked on the modules for four months, but were not planning on creating an online module.
Team 2
Winners of the 2014 MOTSRTP Dragon’s Den Competition, December 1, 2014.

Left to right: Aryeh Price, George Li, Johnny Huang, Julie Van and Cha Cha Yang, Imindu Liyanage, Christie Liang, Hilary Pang, Michael Jeanette

“None of us had experience in taking on a project like this, but we decided that we needed something different than handouts and binders, so we individually created our own modules, and then collectively brought them together,” he says.

On the morning of the competition the team applied their final touches to their learning portal and walked into the Dragon’s Den competition feeling confident, since they knew they had a useful product.

“It’s impressive to see students tackle the most challenging issues in healthcare, in addition to their daily workload,” says Dr. Kim, Co-Director of the Kidney Transplant Program and a judge at the Dragon’s Den competition “Every year the students keep on raising the bar for the presentations.”

For Team 2, it was a challenging accomplishment, and they’re all very glad, and proud of their team. Their Learning Portal will be a pilot this May for the MOT summer program called SPICE+B.

If you have questions about the Learning Portal or would like more information about the MOTSRTP, please contact Segun Famure (Manager of Education & Research for the Kidney Transplant Program): Segun.Famure@uhn.ca

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