Innovation & Added ValueThe CLEVER project stands out as highly innovative both pedagogically and technologically.
The CLEVER project stands out as highly innovative both pedagogically and technologically.
From the pedagogical point of view, it addresses better than anything in practice today the fundamental goal of safe clinical training. Although skills can be shaped through guides and practical sessions, decision making and clinical management skills require the student to be in the position to make those decisions and to have the real appropriate feed-back of his/her decisions. It has to cope with erroneous medical judgement, to allow for real analysis and to underline and explain the correct decisions, to reinforce the evidence-based best practice. All of this has to be done within strict safety limits, with no harm whatsoever to the real patient. VPC/CBL will guide the students through correct case management but also through mistakes and errors in medical thinking in the safe environment provided by the ICT platforms carefully selected through needs analysis.
From the point of view of technological development this project represents a strong promoter of open-source software as a viable tool in addressing complex educational challenges, creating veritable, cognitively immersive teaching environments which will stimulate medical trainees to learn and to develop clinical reasoning skills within real-life medical situation, based on real cases. This project takes case-based learning out of the box, maximizes its accessibility through integration with other e-learning platforms. It will update current practice in CBL by emphasizing competency and experience rather than knowledge.
The CLEVER project embodies a number of training, teaching and learning activities, to ensure the seamless implementation of CBL sessions with the use of VPCs into the curricula of the clinical subjects, and to create a positive didactic and pedagogic change in student learning. The main training activity will have the form of a short-term joint staff training and this will be followed by several sessions organized during project meetings and multiplier events.
One of the main training activities will be to train educators from clinical as well as from theoretical fields of medicine to facilitate CBL sessions appropriately for student groups. CBL typically involves face-to-face interaction in small collaborative groups, with a focus on self-directed study. In CBL, students are responsible for identifying knowledge deficits relating to the case; this encourages learners to develop and manage their own learning goals and strategies needed for lifelong learners.
The correct training given to CBL facilitators will ensure the session is delivered well and that students get the most out of the session and hit all the necessary learning objectives. After the preliminary training there will be specific issues that will need to be discussed with those staff who will take on the responsibility of training new CBL facilitators in the future. Training the trainers for future tutors, will require them to understand not just the CBL process but also the student cognitive behavior during a CBL session and specific socio-cultural individual needs.
The CLEVER project will also train staff to create VPCs which are suitable to use within CBL sessions. There will be training on how to create the VPCs using various VPC authoring ICT platforms (software) and training on how to construct the narratives and “clever” options within the VPC in order to support students’ critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills with the use of evidence based sources and guides. The software part of the training will concentrate on understanding the rules of authoring using the specific software, and will demonstrate how resources, such as documents, images, videos, questions etc., can be used to transform the VPCs into multimedia-enriched interactive VPCs which would need a specific method to facilitate these during CBL sessions compared to narrative text-based VPCs.
The project aims at authoring, reviewing the VPCs as well as embedding them into curricula of 12 clinical disciplines. The authoring and reviewing processes will need to be underpinned by positive relationship between authors (trainees) and reviewers (trainers). In addition, the authoring and embedding processes will need to be underpinned by positive relationship between the clinical educators and the educators coming from theoretical sciences – to ensure harmonization of the whole medical curriculum at the institution. All the positive relationships need to be formed during intensive training face-to-face sessions which comprise mainly working in groups/teams.