The MUSC 2022 Education Innovation Fund Awardees

January 27, 2022
Dr. Laura Kasman (Caucasian woman) on left and Dr. Eddie Kilb (Caucasian man) on right


The MUSC Education Innovation Cabinet is honored to announce the selection of two awardees for the 2022 Education Innovation Fund. The Education Innovation fund seeks out innovative educational approaches, techniques and programs to provide one time funding to pilot or further evaluate.

This year, the two awardees are Dr. Edward Kilb, Assistant Professor with the College of Medicine and Dr. Laura Kasman, Associate Professor with the College of Medicine Department of Immunology.

Along with their submissions, both Dr. Kilb and Dr. Kasman were gracious enough to provide additional insight into their individual projects and how they hope to have an impact on their learners.

Increasing Core Clinical Procedural Skills for 4th Year Medical Students

Dr. Eddie Kilb, Caucasian male, teaching an African American male student in the SIMS Center at MUSC

Dr. Edward Kilb understands the importance of preparing College of Medicine students for the variety of situations that they will encounter during practice. This includes an all-important set of clinical skills or Core Entrustable Professional Activities that graduates must possess.

College of Medicine students, particularly during their intern years, will be asked to evaluate someone who is acutely ill and requires an invasive procedure. Dr. Kilb explains -

“We want to make sure that we are being proactive in helping them be able to evaluate and understand those situations and how best to help the patient.”

With that in mind, he established a way to focus efforts and help learners be exposed to these experiences through the College of Medicine’s 4th Year Critical Care course and use of the simulation lab. His winning proposal offers that through targeted instruction in the simulation lab, this will improve resident skills in invasive procedures and reduce complications in patients.

The hope is that this will translate to confidence in situations that arise during internships. He offered insight on the importance of how work and exposure to these procedures in the lab can provide pivotal practice -

“It equips some of the skills that they can utilize when needed, or at least give them some experience and exposure and a head start in it. It hopefully will take some of the kind of stigma away of invasive procedures. So it's best to learn in a simulation environment and they should be much more readily prepared for intern year.”

The focus of the first implementation will be on creation of a comprehensive, invasive central venous catheter training module. This will include assessment, sterile technique, ultrasound skill complication risk reduction and hands-on technical skills. This is just the start of the many procedural competencies that medical students are required to learn and perform.

“The nature of the course is that all 4th year medical students will at some point cycle through, which gives us the opportunity to teach all of them central venous catheter access. They're very, very eager and grateful to actually, you know, be able to get their hands on ultrasound, identify vascular structures, start placing central lines.”

Looking ahead, the opportunities for expansion are plentiful. The project’s proof of concept will allow for more development of training modules in additional procedural competencies such as bedside ultrasound, arterial line placement, lumbar puncture, and airway management. Additionally, the importance of consistency and exposure across other courses and faculty is also key. Dr. Kilb is optimistic-

“We have various faculty in all sorts of critical care type procedures that you would like to have students exposed to. You know, the things that I see down the line would be airway management and devices. Whether it is you know, high flow, nasal cannula, noninvasive simulations.”

The excitement for the project is palpable and the enthusiasm from students and leadership at the College of Medicine hasn’t gone unnoticed. The overall outcome of having learners feeling prepared and confident is key.

“I think the most exciting thing is just the enthusiasm of the students and obviously the leaders at the College of Medicine. You want your graduates to be able to come out feeling prepared and the College of Medicine, as well as I, take that very seriously.”

The weight of making sure that graduates feel comfortable taking care of people who need help isn’t lost on Dr. Kilb. His hope and desired outcomes for the project reinforce this sentiment.

“To not feel comfortable taking care of people who are the sickest and need help, you know that's really not a comfortable place to be in. We all got into this for a reason, which is to help people.”

With the right pieces in place to ensure success, the College of Medicine and Dr. Kilb are ready to continue their track record of innovations in education.

Making Sense of Immunology Through Gamification

Caucasian female, Dr. Laura Kasman, talking with students outside Drug Discovery Building at MUSC

Dr. Laura Kasman has always held an interest in gamification. With the added value of competition, she hopes to help make the subject of immunology more approachable and easier to learn for her students. When asked about the importance of including gamified elements in her project, Dr. Kasman explained her thought process.

“Let's make it (immunology) a bit more fun because it is hard. So I started looking at gamification because, (when you think of) fun? You think games, right?”

Her project seeks to compare two types of games to determine students understanding of immunology. A game that she has created which emphasizes competition and another one, Immune, that emphasizes collaboration. She hypothesizes that a game in which players compete against each other will be more effective at improving learning outcomes than a cooperative game in which players work together. She explains further –

“I'm creating on my own a competition game, which the rules are going to be very simple, a very simple fast card game. But you must have some immunology knowledge, and so I'm going to compare those two modalities with a split of the class.”

Using these games, she hopes to reinforce key facts about immunology through repetition. This in turn will improve retention and reinforce overall understanding of the topic. It also helps bring together information that students would normally receive in multiple lectures –

“It's a topic that has to be covered over several lectures and so both of these schemes will help bring together the information from multiple lectures, so they get the big picture.”

Taking her project a step further, Dr. Kasman sees additional opportunities in other courses and programs throughout MUSC –

“I am the director of a master’s program, and they learn immunology as well. We could get together and play the game for reinforcement. It can be used by other colleges; I think all the colleges here teach microbiology and immunology.”

The opportunity to deploy a new instructional strategy for the first time is exciting. She hopes that her students will come to enjoy immunology, while learning and retaining important information in the process –

“The vision in my head is at the end, the students will really like immunology and I want them to. I think it's fascinating and so the outcome I'm hoping for is that students will become excited about immunology.”

The innovative mindset is clearly there for Dr. Kasman. The importance of understanding a complex topic, paired with an innovative gamification strategy will be a recipe for success with ripple effects throughout the university.

Congratulations to Dr. Edward Kilb and Dr. Laura Kasman on being named the 2022 Education Innovation Fund Awardees!