ContextEducation for clinical practice is a complex process, involving the development of a body of knowledge, skills and multiple aspects of professionalism. Traditional approaches, with modules in single discipline biosciences, bear little relationship to eventual learner needs for clinical practice.
Education for clinical practice is a complex process, involving the development of a body of knowledge, skills and multiple aspects of professionalism.
Traditional approaches, with modules in single discipline biosciences, bear little relationship to eventual learner needs for clinical practice.
Clinicians act by synthesizing a range of relevant information, identifying and testing solutions.
Developing competence in this crucial process requires an approach that differs from traditional teaching, where the students are recipients of information. Case-Based Learning (CBL) is one example of widespread form of learning which uses patient simulation to create a learning style close to the needs of practice. Virtual patient cases (VPCs) are encouraging students to use their knowledge base to explore simple management decisions as they work through patient scenarios. We believe that implementation of the CLEVER project’s outcomes through VPC/CBL approach is in accordance with the horizontal priority: “Achievement of relevant and high-quality skills and competences” and with the sectoral priority: “Enhancing the quality and relevance of students’ knowledge and skills”.
In higher education, promoting the development of new modes of delivery and exploiting and responding to new technologies in learning and teaching represent one of the best ways to boost EU competitiveness and growth through better skilled workforce and more employment. The goals of the project follow the guidelines outlined in the 2013 “Opening up Education: Innovative teaching and learning for all through new Technologies and Open Educational Resources” in order to create a set of methods and techniques included into a more open learning environments to deliver education of higher quality and efficacy.
In order to evaluate the students’ opinion about the necessity, the opportunity and the usefulness of using virtual patients, a specific questionnaire was applied. From all 8769 students of UMFIASI (5824 female and 2945 male), a representative sample was selected based on student randomized stratified sampling.
The optimal volume of the study sample requires the minimum volume to ensure an adequate representation of all students. For the evaluation to be correct, a confidence level of 95% has been used. The volume of the sample is subject to the condition that the size of the confidence interval is less than the permissible error. For the maximum permissible error of 5%, the sample size should have at least 384 students.
In fact, 785 students answered to the questionnaire and, consequently, the estimation error decreased to 3.5% with the same. From these 785 students, 79.9% were female and 21.1% were male, they were from all years of study (28.1% from the first two years, the “pre-clinic years”, and 71.9% from the clinical years.
The study demonstrated that:
- 85.3% of students are not satisfied by the present content of the e-learning platform and appreciate that the content must be improved;
- 86.5% of students consider that the ITC methods are very useful for acquiring knowledge and for training skills;
- 72.1% of students know well and very well how the VPCs functions;
- 94.4% of students believe that the use of VPCs would have clear benefits for their professional development.
All these figures demonstrates that the students of UMFIASI know what VPCs are and they have a strong will to use VPCs .
The CLEVER project will transfer, adapt, further develop and implement the best practices in the use of virtual scenarios for education. It will bring positive and long-lasting effects on the participating institutions in terms of creating a modern, dynamic and committed professional environment. The entire project and its results will be disseminated to all medical schools and plenty of other higher education institutions through the existing educational networks and projects associated with the participating institutions. In addition, CLEVER will further strengthen the cooperation and networking between the participating organizations, which already have made some fruitful collaborations in various fields of medical education and educational informatics.
Thus, the project is also in accordance with the selected priority in the higher education sector: “Supporting innovation and creativity, through partnerships”.
In the project there will be two kinds of innovations in the project: pedagogical (CBL) and technological (VPCs). Both of them address the challenge of developing teaching/learning practices that will trigger meaningful pedagogical uses of information and communication technologies (ICT). In this aspect, the project is in accordance with the horizontal priority: “Open and innovative practices in a digital era”.