North Star Implementation Project

Screen shot of a pilot enlentra course

Project Background

The University of Colorado School of Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program is undertaking a curriculum reform initiative which is scheduled to launch in fall 2021. Curriculum reform involves a complete redesign of the current curriculum content and learning modalities.  One focus of the new curriculum is self-directed learning and student-defined learning tracks. This involves providing students real-time access to their learning and performance information and will require a fully integrated curriculum, assessment, and evaluation data model.

While curriculum-related milestones involving data integration have been met over the past few years, UME is currently at an impasse regarding the expansion of the existing curriculum management system (CMS) and learning management system (LMS) needed for curriculum reform. UME currently uses several disparate systems for curriculum management (iLios), assessment (ExamSoft), learning management (Canvas), Oasis (scheduling and evaluation), and student personalized calendars (Enrollment Manager). The objective of this project is to replace the multiple systems with a single integrated system that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a medical school.  

An integrated curriculum data system and associated technologies are central to meeting the demands of contemporary education.  North Star supplies this level of functionality.  North Star is an integrated teaching and learning platform that addresses our current limitations and gaps.  

timeline of elentra project

Project Scope 

The scope of the project includes:

  • Implementation of the North Star software for the MD Program at the School of Medicine:
    • Configuration of the software by preparing spreadsheets, uploading and setting configuration for:
      • Program Requirements
      • System Settings
      • Curriculum Management
      • User Management
      • Course Creation
      • Learning Events
      • Gradebooks
      • Assessments
      • Evaluations
      • Community Websites
    • Extract of student, and faculty data to populate North Star
    • Ongoing loading and validation of the data in North Star
    • Setting up access/permissions for North Star users
  • Development of a Data Warehouse for the School of Medicine to collect data and feed North Star as well as SOM reporting. The Data Warehouse will include but is not be limited to:
    • Student Information
    • Class Data
    • Clinical Skills – Physical Exam and Communications Assessments
    • Faculty and Staff Data
  • Identify and Implement Solution for course lottery, waitlist and add/drop process for Electives
  • Development of new processes to support:
    • Granting access to North Star
    • Responding/resolving Help Desk Tickets for MD Program students, faculty and staff 
  • Integration of MD Program Student Dashfolio into North Star
  • Change Management plan for rolling out the new software and processes including: 
    • A Communication Plan
    • Training for system administrators and users
    • Adoption Plan
  • Accessibility and Usability Review of North Star Software
  • Development of Data Governance team and processes for UME