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Online Digital Imaging Academy.

In 2007 the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) announced at the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) Annual Conference a project to develop an online education program in digital imaging. The project, called ODIA for Online Digital Imaging Academy, is a collaborative effort between the ARRT and the ASRT Education and Research Foundation.

Why Did ARRT Get Involved?

Although the ARRT normally does not involve itself with developing educational materials, the purposes for which ARRT was founded are broader than just the development and administration of certification examinations. The ARRT bylaws state that the purposes of the organization are to:

* Encourage education in the profession of radiologic technology, its imaging and therapeutic disciplines.

* Determine and assess the knowledge and cognitive skills required of radiologic technologists to intelligently perform the tasks of their profession by developing and administering examinations.

* Uphold and verify requirements for educational preparation.

* Promote continued competence through continuing education.

* Encourage and monitor the ethical practice of registered technologists by publishing and enforcing the profession's Code of Ethics.

* Maintain and disseminate a registry of individuals meeting the requirements of the corporation.

* Develop and administer certification standards in emerging imaging and therapeutic disciplines in which technologists participate. The specific motivation for the ODIA was the need to cover digital imaging on the ARRT's entry-level certification exams but feeling that we were in a catch-22. Students were not learning the fundamentals of digital imaging because educators did not have good resource materials to use in teaching the content. Including digital imaging on the examination without a reasonable means to learn the content would just result in candidates missing more questions. But by not including digital imaging on the certification examination in a meaningful way, the exams were not assessing an important component of current practice. The ARRT board decided that the impasse could be alleviated by providing a broad-based, conveniently accessible and affordable educational offering in digital imaging. The ASRT has the tools to develop the education, so the ARRT and ASRT agreed to collaborate on this important and significant project.

Who Is the Audience?

Although the original motivation was to address the situation for the certification examination, it quickly became clear that there was a broader need for these educational materials. The intent of the project was expanded to providing an educational experience appropriate to all registered technologists and to students enrolled in radiologic science educational programs. Staff technologists can use it to gain a deeper understanding of digital imaging beyond that available through the applications training provided by vendors on specific equipment; educators can use it to enhance their own understanding; and students can use it to supplement their classroom learning.

What Will It Look Like?

The ARRT and ASRT agreed that using computer technology to be just a "page turner" for the content would be a disservice. A dynamic, multimedia approach will be employed. Content will be organized into modules with multiple entry points into the sequence of modules depending upon the individual's background. For those desiring a review of fundamental principles of imaging, there will be modules addressing this. For those with some familiarity with digital imaging technology, a later entrance point within the sequence of modules will be possible. Flexibility is key, given the broad audience that is targeted.

How Long Will It Be?

The series of modules will provide at least 20 hours of instruction and perhaps more. The exact length is in the process of being determined as content is developed. Clearly, this will be a significant educational experience.

Will Completion of Activities Result in CE?

Yes! The activities will be submitted for review and CE credits will be assigned. Those completing the activities, including the online post-test, will be awarded CE credit that can be used to comply with ARRT's requirements for renewal of registration.

How Much Will It Cost To Use?

This may be the best news of all! It will be free to all ARRT-registered technologists and to students enrolled in an accredited radiologic science educational program. The ARRT has underwritten the costs of the project as a service to the profession.

When Will It Be Available?

Availability is scheduled for fall 2008. More specific information will be announced through the ASRT and ARRT as it becomes available. The ARRT is extremely excited to be working with the ASRT on this project and is looking forward to providing this unique learning experience to the profession.

Jerry Reid, Ph.D., is the regular contributing columnist for RE: Registry, which addresses issues concerning the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Dr. Reid is executive director of the Registry. Questions or comments may be sent to his attention at the ARRT, 1255 Northland Drive, St. Paul, MN 55120-1155.
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Title Annotation:RE: REGISTRY
Author:Reid, Jerry
Publication:Radiologic Technology
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:784
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