Background: The University of California, San Francisco is undergoing many changes in its approach to teaching in both undergraduate (UME) and graduate medical education (GME). As a result, approximately one third of traditional in-class lectures that make up the UME curriculum will need to move to a digital format to accommodate a new curriculum. In GME, duty hours and competing clinical demands make the need for flexible learning opportunities a priority. UCSF has taken this on and developed a unique faculty-coaching model to help lecturers convert their lecture materials to new, high-quality, digital formats.


  • To explain the motivations behind UCSF creating digital learning content.
  • To outline the reasoning behind the need for a team of experts to assist faculty members in converting their content to a digital format
  • To impart the step-wise process that the team of coaches uses when working with a faculty member


Much like the model of team-based care that has been so successful in both inpatient and outpatient medicine, a team-based approach to creating digital learning materials is necessary. In the team-based care model, the care of the patient has been improved dramatically by including pharmacists, nurses, and social workers as part of the group providing direct care to a patient. Physicians often serve as the central figure in this team, but they rely on other experts to help provide their patient’s with excellent care. This also works well, because the non-physician team members take more ownership of the patient and their outcomes.

Similarly, in our digital-teaching model, the faculty member remains the central figure and the content expert for the topic at hand. But they rely on members of the team that include experts in technology-enhanced learning who help them to reorganize their lectures, use technology in creative ways, and use best practices when being filmed. The team also employs professional videographers and video editors to help create the highest quality digital content. All members of this team have a vested interest in great learning outcomes, and therefore often create an excellent product.


There are many reasons why an institution would feel that creating digital learning content was important. Through our experience, we have found that approaching each lecture as a team has led to positive results. Institutions that are planning to undertake a digital conversion may benefit from employing a similar model.