Simulated patient encounters are an effective way to teach students about a specific condition, and broaden their clinical experience.
To understand the concepts behind this strategy requires at least a superficial knowledge of this type of module. Start here, to view a very simple training module I built for the students (3 minutes). Then come back, and I can discuss some of the background.
This module was created using “Adobe Captivate“, a program designed to enable non-programmers (e.g. medical educators) to easily create on-line training and evaluation modules for their students.
This opening image illustrates several important points of effective online learning.
- The title, or chief complaint, immediately establishes the purpose of the module.
- Because it is essential that both the video and audio track be functional, I wanted to confirm that functionality.
- Although I generally prefer black backgrounds to avoid visual distractions, in this case I used a clinic hallway photograph, subdued by making it mostly transparent. This would visually establish the location, without be distracting.
- I positioned my picture to serve as an Avatar, or guiding spirit to lead the student through the encounter. Avatars increase speed of learning, depth of learning and duration of recall.
- I used my own voice. Studies have found human voices to be superior to computer-generated voices in terms of effectiveness of online training.
Notice that the audio provides all the important information. It was scripted and voiced in a conversational tone. The video aspects are simply bullet points to help the student remember.[Additional content on this page is restricted to Registered Medical Professionals]