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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 May 15;34(2):Doc19. doi: 10.3205/zma001096. eCollection 2017.

Utilization and acceptance of virtual patients in veterinary basic sciences - the vetVIP-project.

Author information

1
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, E-Learning Department, Hannover, Germany.
2
University of Life Sciences Lublin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Lublin, Poland.
3
University of Life Sciences Lublin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,Department of Epizootiology and Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Lublin, Poland.
4
Szent István University, Veterinary Faculty, Department of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.
5
Szent István University, Veterinary Faculty, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Budapest, Hungary.
6
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Department of Physiological Chemistry, Hannover, Germany.
7
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, Hannover, Germany.
8
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Small Animal Clinic, Hannover, Germany.
9
University Witten-Herdecke, Didactics and Educational Research in Health Science, Witten, Germany.

Abstract

in English, German

Context: In medical and veterinary medical education the use of problem-based and cased-based learning has steadily increased over time. At veterinary faculties, this development has mainly been evident in the clinical phase of the veterinary education. Therefore, a consortium of teachers of biochemistry and physiology together with technical and didactical experts launched the EU-funded project "vetVIP", to create and implement veterinary virtual patients and problems for basic science instruction. In this study the implementation and utilization of virtual patients occurred at the veterinary faculties in Budapest, Hannover and Lublin. Methods: This report describes the investigation of the utilization and acceptance of students studying veterinary basic sciences using optional online learning material concurrently to regular biochemistry and physiology didactic instruction. The reaction of students towards this offer of clinical case-based learning in basic sciences was analysed using quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data were collected automatically within the chosen software-system CASUS as user-log-files. Responses regarding the quality of the virtual patients were obtained using an online questionnaire. Furthermore, subjective evaluation by authors was performed using a focus group discussion and an online questionnaire. Results: Implementation as well as usage and acceptance varied between the three participating locations. High approval was documented in Hannover and Lublin based upon the high proportion of voluntary students (>70%) using optional virtual patients. However, in Budapest the participation rate was below 1%. Due to utilization, students seem to prefer virtual patients and problems created in their native language and developed at their own university. In addition, the statement that assessment drives learning was supported by the observation that peak utilization was just prior to summative examinations. Conclusion: Veterinary virtual patients in basic sciences can be introduced and used for the presentation of integrative clinical case scenarios. Student post-course comments also supported the conclusion that overall the virtual cases increased their motivation for learning veterinary basic sciences.

KEYWORDS:

CASUS-software; educational activities; veterinary education; virtual systems

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