All 4 entries tagged VLE

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July 07, 2009

Virtual Patients

Writing about web page http://www.virtualpatients.eu/

I've been enjoying working with a number of different software packages for virtual patients over the past few

Labrynth is one of a number of educational developments to improve education based on simulated clincal cases

weeks including Labyrinth, vpSim and a number of offerings from a number of organisations.

What I can say is the beauty and speed of whats been evolving really does put these developments into really new areas of research.

The real point is that its not clear exactly how to educate undergraduates, doctors or patients using these forms of software, but  research is now being dedicated towards this area including a European Body eViP, which held the first International Conference dedicated to Virtual patients earlier last month (June 09) in in Krakow.

Numerous e-learning developments are blogged daily by practitioners interested in the Web2.0, and virtual patients really offers the opportunity to practising physicians and educationalists to work together, each generating significant content.


Im looking forward to developing some elearning content here at Warwick for undergraduates. But how is this actually done? A diagram below (created using vpSim from the University of Pittsburgh) will help to explain things. Depending on which system is in use, a series of interconnecting pathways with options for questions/ interventions and branches along with multimedia gives students the opportunity to work their way through different clinical cases.

An example of the pathway followed when creating a vritual patient case


Each of the nodes contains detailed clinical information as well as patient resources.

Concerns

Obviously there are a number of concerns that go along with generating such content. material published on the world wide web can be copied and is difficult to withdraw once consent for publication has been given. Fortunately detailed consent forms and information given to patients whose clinical images may be used in such cases helps minimise the impact of such problems.

Opportunities

hopefully the open access nature of the Web 2.0 revolution, the creative commons licence and other initiatives will bring virtual patients to an international audience and overall improve the quality of patient care. Important research questions remain to be asked about how these tools can be used to teach doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other allied health care workers.

For more information on eViP, watch a video, from them, embedded below.



June 03, 2009

Powerpoint to Flash which is SCORM Compatible?

Spending the last year working on a number of different elearning projects along with the up keep of a large VLE with >2000 registered users has been complex. The most frustrating aspect of elearning is the difficulty in transferring presented material from a common presentation format used by most teachers (in my experience, PowerPoint) to a web based environment.

Searching the web as I did for "PowerPoint to flash" seemed to be the answer, with the 'flash' platform being well used.

Ispring

After using a couple of commercial products as a trial, we have come round to using the Ispring model. this allows the user to create a PowerPoint to flash file at the click of a button. without being an expert in IT, this seems to offer the perfect answer, with simple menu driven functions for zip file/ different presentation flash styles, presenters, layers and other models.Ispring

SCORM-Taking things a step further

Being interested in elearning research, what about patterns of use when you're using these sorts of things? SCORM (I believe developed by the US military) seems to be the solution. I gather Ispring now have a tool which is SOCRM friendly to allow users to analyse how students have performed suring custom designed quiz packages.

We're yet to try this version, but it seems to offer a simple solution to a difficult problem.

HTML- you will...

Its still unfortunate that without a simple grasp of HTML, you will still not be able to utilise flash from different sources, no matter how good the software is at creating it. However with the embedded codes that are standard, this isn't too much of a problem.

Problem Solved?

All our problems solved?Maybe maybe not. Anecdotally we have had reports that bits of our flash (not generated through Ispring) do not play on peoples Iphones. This is a disappointment.

We'd like to use the SCORM content with Moodle to try it out.

Overall we give Ispring a 5/5 rating. I hope to put their software to the test further having already presented it at the British Society of Rheumatology.


An example of the free hosting that comes with slideboom (handy if you're using a mega file with video and your university webspace is running low)-a site a bit like youtube for flash- can be seen below. This is the ultra basic, free trial version of Ispring. I intend to publish the more complex players on the blog shortly.


March 17, 2009

Streaming video for your website: practical points

I run a Website through a web hosting company which is said to offer "unlimited bandwidth". The bottom line is however that this essentially is meaningless! To host large medical examination videos (i.e. 80megabytes plus) without a dedicated server to 750 plus users is virtually impossible.

Having now negotiated new hosting, our customers will  hopefully be much happier, however it does seem to be a bit misleading as a non IT professional when you look at whats on offer from some hosting firms. However, apart from the download issue, our hosting providers have been first class, and initially ewe did not specifically ask about video hosting.

Not withstanding our wonderful VLE (see Robert OToole's site for his perspectives!), having high quality video material is essential.

You can watch a video here, which was that was first hosted on YouTube.


Now our speeds are pretty similar to that found on YouTube.


My Masters in Medical Education is continuing apace and I hope to be able to accredit some of the experiential learning from the site towards my future qualifications.

At the site, on the quesitons and videos and also on our blog our videos now run quite seamlessly. Hopefully when we encourage feedback from our use base, we'll be able to concentrate more on the content than providing a high quality service.


If you have any comments I'd love to hear them.


January 28, 2009

Virtual Learning Environments and Research: Presenting at the BSR

I'm please to say Ill be presenting an oral presentation at the British Society of Rheumatology Annual meeting in April 2009 regarding my work with virtual learning environments and their application to every day medical education and research.

Ill be publishing the presentation here on the blog here and also at my other blog site.

In the piece in question Ill be discussing the implementation of video based educational techniques and their comparison with text based delivery.

I have some experience of working with VLE's at a number of sites primarily from a research basis at www.medicaltutor.co.uk and another site relating to exam revision.


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