I just came back from a fantastic teaching experience where we divided a group of experienced medical doctors into smaller groups of four and gave them clinical cases for them to solve in a step-by-step fashion where they get more and more information as the case evolves. Om my way home I tried to picture me this entire scenario as an online education session instead. What would be the assets and what would be the drawbacks? What would I need on technical terms and how could I create enthusiasm among the students to do such a thin. To begin with, I had a hard time even imagining how to start such an approach.  Sharing and corporation are cornerstones of online teaching. At least, this is what is focused on in all our videos and readings for Topic 2. But what is less clear, I believe, is the way to do it. For example, I focused on how to assess student work when we start using online tools for assignments or formal tests. It was surprizing to see the myriad of tools and theories around this but the lack of studies backing them. After discussing it in our group and with our super supervisor Anne White, she confirmed that this still is a young field and that a lot is happening both in theory and with the actual technique.

Going back to my wish of doing interactive case-based scenario training online, I made a wish list from a technical point of view as follows:

  1. Interactive
    platforms like ZOOM where it is possible to form smaller groups in breakout
  2. On
    the same platform very good audio-visuals to be able to show short movies,
    pictures including but not limited to X-ray films and lab results.
  3. Assessment
    in the end with some sort of online test.

Any good suggestions how to do this? I searched my own field in medicine and found a few interesting platforms. One initiative is the ALERT platform. It is built around flashcards that contain information and open ended questions. In addition, they can be created in a collaborative fashion where study groups can work together on their specific topic (Tiago Taveira-Gomes, 2014). Other studies pinpoint the importance of face-to-face synchronous teaching as very important for students in an online evironment, which is very much in line with what we have discussed in our group .

1.     Taveira-Gomes, T. A novel
collaborative e-learning platform for medical students – ALERT STUDENT, BMC Med Educ. 2014; 14: 143.  doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-14-143

2.     Black DA. Learning management system and e-learning tools: an
experience of medical students’ usage and expectations, Int J Med
. 2016; 7: 267–273.  doi: 10.5116/ijme.57a5.f0f5

Sharing is caring – if it’s done correctly