Creating a Training Module: Uncomplicated Cystitis

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.

Opening image
Opening image

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.
History of Present Illness
History of Present Illness

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.

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Notes from a Medical Educator