Current Role at Stanford

Pauline Becker is the Strategy & Operations Director at EdTech in the department of Technology & Digital Solutions (TDS).

Her primary responsibilities include:
* managing the design, implementation and maintenance of the MediaFlow system, the school of medicine's video capture system
* coordinating the Stanford Medicine Interactive Learning Initiative (SMILI:, an inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional steering committee for school of medicine online learning activities
* overseeing the Surgery Septris project, a project to create an education game for surgical decision making, based on the existing game Septris, for treatment of sepsis

Pauline Becker has been an active member of the Stanford community for 19 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Human Biology (1998) and a masters in Learning, Design and Technology (1999). In 1998, she received the Albert H. Hastorf Award for Outstanding Service for excellence in teaching, from the Program in Human Biology. She has worked in industry as a quality assurance engineer and online community manager (Macromedia, 1999-2002). Since then she was a program manager at SUMMIT (Stanford University Medical Media & Information Technologies), where in partnership with PATH (a nonprofit international health organization) she headed the technical and educational design side of the AIM e-Learning project, dedicated to delivering online content to national health policy makers.

In her work for AIM e-Learning, Becker traveled to India, Uganda, Thailand, WHO Geneva and CDC Atlanta, where between designing and implementing appropriate technologies to deliver educational content, she conducted training sessions, usability studies and user needs surveys. She was introduced to the major issues and players in international health, in discussions with global partners and in-country staff.

At Stanford, Becker worked with medical students to develop the new course Rethinking International Health. The course uses online interviews of important figures in international health as a springboard for discussion of the major issues. Becker also worked with PATH and the World Health Organization in the redesign of a WHO computer-based tool for measles strategic planning.

Becker's research interests include the use of simulations and "serious games" (games for learning) in medical and health education. Her work on AIM e-Learning and the use of Web-based patient simulators for assessment in medical education has been published in peer-reviewed conference proceedings. She is fluent in conversational French and enjoys entertaining.

Education & Certifications

  • Certification, American Society for Quality (ASQ), Six Sigma Green Belt (Certification Number 8318) (2012)
  • MA, Stanford University School of Education, Education: Learning, Design & Technology (1999)
  • BA, Stanford University, Human Biology: Behavioral Biology (1998)

All Publications

  • A Multi-Institution Collaboration to Define Core Content and Design Flexible Curricular Components for a Foundational Medical School Course: Implications for National Curriculum Reform. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges Chen, S. F., Deitz, J., Batten, J. N., DeCoste-Lopez, J., Adam, M., Alspaugh, J. A., Amieva, M. R., Becker, P., Boslett, B., Carline, J., Chin-Hong, P., Engle, D. L., Hayward, K. N., Nevins, A., Porwal, A., Pottinger, P. S., Schwartz, B. S., Smith, S., Sow, M., Teherani, A., Prober, C. G. 2019


    Medical educators have not reached widespread agreement on core content for a U.S. medical school curriculum. As a first step toward addressing this, five U.S. medical schools formed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Reimagining Medical Education collaborative to define, create, implement, and freely share core content for a foundational medical school course on microbiology and immunology. This proof-of-concept project involved delivery of core content to preclinical medical students through online videos and class time interactions between students and facilitators. A flexible, modular design allowed four of the medical schools to successfully implement the content modules in diverse curricular settings. Compared to the prior year, student satisfaction ratings after implementation were comparable or showed a statistically significant improvement. Students who took this course at a time point in their training similar to when the USMLE Step 1 reference group took Step 1 earned equivalent scores on National Board of Medical Examiners-Customized Assessment Services microbiology exam items. Exam scores for three schools ranged from 0.82 to 0.84, compared to 0.81 for the national reference group; exam scores were 0.70 at the fourth school, where students took the exam in their first quarter, two years earlier than the reference group. This project demonstrates that core content for a foundational medical school course can be defined, created, and used by multiple medical schools without compromising student satisfaction or knowledge. This project offers one approach to collaboratively defining core content and designing curricular resources for preclinical medical school education that can be shared.

    View details for PubMedID 30801270

  • The use of virtual patients to assess the clinical skills and reasoning of medical students: initial insights on student acceptance MEDICAL TEACHER Gesundheit, N., Brutlag, P., Youngblood, P., Gunning, W. T., Zary, N., Fors, U. 2009; 31 (8): 739-742


    Web-based clinical cases ("virtual patients", VPs) provide the potential for valid, cost-effective teaching and assessment of clinical skills, especially clinical reasoning skills, of medical students. However, medical students must embrace this teaching and assessment modality for it to be adopted widely.We examined student acceptance of a web-based VP system, Web-SP, developed for teaching and assessment purposes, in a group of 15 second-year and 12 fourth-year medical students.Student acceptance of this web-based method was high, with greater acceptance in pre-clinical (second-year) compared with clinical (fourth-year) medical students. Students rated VPs as realistic and appropriately challenging; they particularly liked the ability of VPs to show physical abnormalities (such as abnormal heart and lung sounds, skin lesions, and neurological findings), a feature that is absent in standardized patients.These results document high acceptance of web-based instruction and assessment by medical students. VPs of the complexity used in this study appear to be particularly well suited for learning and assessment purposes in early medical students who have not yet had significant clinical contact.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/01421590903126489

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269784700010

    View details for PubMedID 19811211

  • Building an internationalized content delivery architecture: lessons learned. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium Brutlag, P., Dev, P., Podchiyska, T. 2005: 906-?


    Increasingly, small development teams are building internationalized architectures for delivering large amounts of content. The AIM e-Learning project is one such example: in 2 years, 4 people built a system which currently delivers the print equivalent of 1500 pages of text, in 4 languages, to users in over 140 countries world wide. Here we discuss the lessons we have learned through development, including issues surrounding staffing, process, technologies and next steps.

    View details for PubMedID 16779193

  • The Advanced Immunization Management (AIM) e-Learning Project. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium Brutlag, P., Fitzgerald, B., Mort, M., Stringer, J., Steinfeld, R., McArthur, A., Dev, P., Cheyne, J. 2003: 799-?


    New tools to educate immunization managers in developing countries are needed to keep these health policy makers current on the latest vaccines and procedures, and to provide support in decision making. The goal of the AIM e-Learning Project is to deliver up-to-date and engaging web-delivered media, with solid instructional design, to an audience relatively new to web-based learning. Accuracy of information and accessibility drive our design. Our ultimate objective is to aid immunization managers in developing timely, effective and sustainable policy.

    View details for PubMedID 14728304