The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, launched a new degree program that eliminates the need for traditional textbooks. Freshmen enrolled in biomedical sciences were given iPads at orientation and all course materials for the program will be delivered to them on the device.
The program, designed by the UT System’s Institute for Transformational Learning, is the first step in a competency-based education initiative by the institution. Courses will be delivered in a combination of online, classroom, laboratory, or clinical formats, according to a report on the My Harlingen News blog.
“Using elements of the competency-based approach and student services supporting creativity, determination, and drive, UTRGV students are going to be better prepared to take the MCAT, enter medical school, and be successful medical students,” said Francisco Fernandez, dean of the UTRGV College of Medicine. “What this will result in is more qualified doctors coming from the Rio Grande Valley who have the power to transform this community.”
Students will use their iPads to access classroom and online content through a mobile-first application designed by the UT System known as the total education experience or TEx. The TEx app is highly personalized and allows students to speak with classmates and faculty online anytime.
“The most exciting moment for all of us will come in the following years when we see students succeeding by graduating, entering medical school, and becoming knowledgeable and talented biomedical researchers and health-care professionals,” said Marni Baker Stein, chief innovation officer for the UT System.