Evidence of virtual patients as a facilitative learning tool on an anesthesia course
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AbstractVirtual patients are computerised representations of realistic clinical cases. They were developed to teach clinical reasoning skills through delivery of multiple standardized patient cases. The anesthesia course at The Chinese University of Hong Kong developed two novel types of virtual patients, formative assessment cases studies and storyline, to teach its final year medical students on a 2 week rotational course. Acute pain management cases were used to test if these two types of virtual patient could enhance student learning. A 2 × 2 cross over study was performed in academic year 2010-2011 on 130 students divided into four groups of 32-34. Performance was evaluated by acute pain management items set within three examinations; an end of module 60-item multiple choice paper, a short answer modified essay paper and the end of year final surgery modified essay paper. The pain management case studies were found to enhanced student performance in all three examinations, whilst the storyline virtual patient had no demonstrable effect. Student-teaching evaluation questionnaires showed that the case studies were favored more than the storyline virtual patient. Login times showed that students on average logged onto the case studies for 6 h, whereas only half the students logged on and used the storyline virtual patient. Formative assessment case studies were well liked by the students and reinforced learning of clinical algorithms through repetition and feedback, whereas the educational role of the more narrative and less interactive storyline virtual patient was less clear .
All Author(s) ListLeung J.Y., Critchley L.A., Yung A.L., Kumta S.M.
Journal nameAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Volume Number20
Issue Number4
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Pages885 - 901
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsAnesthesia, E-learning, Medical education, Pain management, Simulation, Virtual patient

Last updated on 2022-16-01 at 23:58