Three functions encompass the core of the resulting application. Access gives users, based on a self-managed education profile, direct calendar-based access to online resources, Browse lists all online content by title, module type, and curriculum, and Create, which has tools for authoring four types of learning modules – courses, teaching cases, multimedia collections and quizzes. Each tool enables faculty to independently create and use modules together and within each other. Authors can assign editing privileges to other faculty and control viewing access for all or part of a module. Other features include self-administration of accounts and preferences, and a personal portal to bookmarks, links, online references, and searching.
Navigator was successfully piloted in four second-year courses: nephrology, gastroenterology dermatology and neuroscience between September 2002 and March 2003. The faculty from these courses created 324 learning modules consisting of 4467 web pages and 2846 uploaded documents. Analysis of server logs showed high use in these courses correlating with typical study patterns. A single four week course with 150 students logged 6,567 unique visits averaging 39 minutes in length, with just under a half a million individual page-views
Second-year medical students (106) completed an 11 question survey. When asked if Navigator added significantly to the learning experience 40% answered “to a very high degree”, 21% “to a considerable degree” and 14% “to a moderate degree.” Eleven percent and 8% felt it added to a “small degree” and “not at all,” respectively.