Online case-based medical seminars offer deeper, more flexible learning

Students in the first year of the graduate-entry medical course (GEC) have a lot to learn - some more than others - and fitting invaluable clinical contact into an already heavy timetable has typically been a formidable challenge.

That's why GEC Course Director Dr Richard Harrington decided to run his case-based seminars (using clinical details and photographs of real patients attending his own GP practice) online. The VLE (WebLearn) lets you create an online learning environment similar to a classroom seminar, he says, where students can develop strong clinical observation and history-taking skills, as well as engaging in creative discussion - often more freely and widely than in a face-to-face situation - from which everyone can learn.

The Forum tool didn't only allow the students space to research their answers, it also stimulated me to do the same. As a generalist, I quite often find myself taken to the limits of my knowledge by the GEC students, so the process is educational for me too.

Dr Richard Harrington, Associate Director of the GEC (graduate-entry medical course)

GP holding a tablet computer interviews a father with a baby in the waiting room, in the background a practice nurse shows notes to two patients

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