Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Time to HEAL?

The Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) is a digital library of multimedia teaching materials for the health sciences. This collection is substantial, with 22,000+ freely accessible “learning objects.” HEAL is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. There are currently over 7,000 active registered users of HEAL.

The collection utilizes a schema of cataloging standards that is derived from the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) standard developed by Educause, a nonprofit association that promotes the intelligent use of information technology. HEAL uses a rigorous peer-review process, with reviewers who are physicians n bio-scientists, and experienced users of instructional technology. They systematically examine both the quality and usefulness of the submitted resources. Potential health sciences-related resources are rejected, accepted conditionally, or accepted as-is. Reviewers can also accept outstanding resources "with acclamation." In addition, HEAL is a leader in developing a process to provide academic recognition for digital scholarship. Upon acceptance, resources are permanently published in the HEAL Reviewed Collection.

HEAL also presents other collections in their affiliated collections. For example, you can explore the UCLA Interactive Neuroscience Collection. It contains multimedia resources to support first year neurosciences curricula and includes videos of brain dissections, a brain atlas, an MRI atlas, and interactive quizzes.

More information about HEAL, as well as free access to HEAL's Reviewed Collection and affiliate collections of health sciences educational resources, is available at