Building a Virtual Patient Curriculum

May 9, 2011 1:00 PM

Terry Poulton, St. George’s University of London
Chara Balasubramaniam, St. George’s University of London
Trupti Jivram, St. George's University of London

Case based or Problem-based learning is a well-established process in undergraduate medicine, in which students in groups work through a patient scenario, defining the knowledge they require to understand the scenario, exploring diagnoses and subsequent management, and generating learning objectives as they progress. Recently the elearning Unit at St George’s (eLU) obtained funding from the JISC ‘curriculum transformation’ programme for ‘Generation 4’, a project which replaced paper- based PBL with interactive ‘virtual patients’ (VPs). These online scenarios allowed groups of students to consider different options as the case unfolded, take decisions, and explore the consequences of their actions, whilst retaining the PBL focus. In an extension of this process virtual patients have begun to overtake other areas of the curriculum many other areas of the curriculum, driven both by student/teacher interest, and recognition of their pedagogic value. These uses have increased, to cover: replacing paper-based PBL; creating interactive VP-based lectures and seminars; replacing paper-based assessment; supplementing clinical bed-side teaching.

The workshop:

  • Will briefly discuss the ways we are using VPs to transform our curriculum process
  • Outline the way in which the new VP/PBL have been created
  • Allow participants in small groups to simulate the new student PBL with an experienced tutor
  • allow participants to begin to create their own VPs.