Archive for September, 2009

Workshops on Using Audience Response Systems in Teaching

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

The Medical School has recently invested in the latest version of  the Turning Point audience response system and a number of lecturers are already using this in their lectures.  For those interested in learning more about how audience response systems can enhance learning in the classroom here are details about two events which might be worth going along to.

The University of Glamorgan is hosting a workshop on Using Clinical Simulation and Audience Response Systems to Enhance Students Learning and Critical Reasoning Skills  on 24 November 2009.  The HEA Subject Centre for Health Sciences and Practice are organising this event and you can visit their website for more information.  The workshop will

introduce delegates to the principles of combining ARS with video streaming of high fidelity simulated clinical scenarios. Delegates will have the opportunity to explore technical, practical and pedagogical aspects of utilising this form of e-learning.

A few days later on 26 November the University of Leicester is running a meeting organised by Engaging Students Through In-Class Technology (ESTICT), a UK network of education practitioners and learning technologists interested in promoting good practice with classroom technologies that can enhance face-to-face teaching. You can join the ESTICT community online and register to join their Ning group. The aim of the Leicester meeeting is

to share best practice in the use of in-class technology, with a particular focus on the pedagogic uses of electronic voting systems (also known as ‘clickers’ audience response systems ARS, personal response systems PRS). This event is aimed at those both those with experience of EVS who wish to share their best practice and those with an interest in the technology that would like to know more. Both experts and novice users are welcome.

Hopefully someone will be able to attend at least one of these events and we can share some feedback and tips on best practice here on the blog.


TEDMED talks 2009

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

In my presentation at last week’s ACT meeting I mentioned the TED talks videos which are freely available to view and share on the web.  The TED talks are 15-18 minute presentations about ‘ideas worth sharing’ in science, technology, business, global issues, design and entertainment and well worth a look.  There’s an example of a TED talk below by Hans Rosling, Professor of Global Health at the Karolinska Institute, on HIV where he uses Gapminder to show the latest stats on HIV infection.  There are some others you can view in the vodpod widget in the sidebar of this page or you can go direct to

Next month in San Diego TED will be holding TEDMED 2009, the first TED dedicated entirely to talks on medicine and healthcare.  The talks will cover topics such as ageing, cancer, surgery, open research in medicine and communicating medical information. The TEDMED website has the full list of speakers and the titles of their talks. As with other TED talks these will be available online after the event. It should be worth taking a look at the TEDMED talks for general interest and it may be that some of the talks could be used in teaching resources.

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

Should Students Use Wikipedia as a Source of Medical Information?

September 16, 2009 6 comments
Image from wikipedia

Image from wikipedia

Do a Google search and invariably you’ll see Wikipedia is often one of the top links delivered in your search results.  User statistics for the English version of Wikipedia for the end of August 2009 show the site has 8,031,236 visitors an hour.

Many people question whether Wikipedia is a reliable source of information.  A study by Nature in 2005 concluded that Wikipedia (at that time) came close to the Encyclopedia Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries.  I’ve heard a number of lecturers both at Dundee and in other medical schools say that students should not use Wikipedia to look for information, whilst other lecturers admit they have used it for quick reference.  Speaking to some students, they’ve mentioned that they use Wikipedia as a first port of call to get an overview of a topic before going on to refer to peer-reviewed journals etc.

So should students use Wikipedia as a source of medical information? How does it stack up? Do doctors make the effort to edit any inaccuracies they spot?  There’s an interesting overview of Wikipedia and whether it should be used as a source of medical infromation, ‘The Trouble with using Wikipedia as a source of medical information‘, on Laika’s MedLibLog. Laika (Jaqueline) is a medical librarian in Amsterdam and blogs about medical librarianship, evidence-based medicine, medical information and the Cochrane Collaboration.  Laika’s post about Wikipedia highlights some important points and issues about the accuracy of information on the site and reports on how Wikipedia are taking steps to address some of these issues and also how groups such as the NIH and journals such as RNA Biology are encouraging scientists and experts to edit and initiate entries in Wikipedia.

Laika suggests that a possible solution to the problems with Wikipedia is a medical wikipedia.  Ganfyd and Medpedia are two examples of medical wikis but these are very much works in progress.  Is this the way forward or should we be encouraging doctors to edit Wikipedia to improve the reliability of what’s there given that we know that other doctors, students and patients all use it as a source of information.  In response to a post by Anne Marie Cunningham on her informal survey of 1st year medical students use of Wikipedia at Cardiff Medical School, Chris Dawson advocates that we should be encouraging students to edit Wikipedia rather than use it.  Chris says

It wouldn’t take many medical schools requiring a “Web 2.0 Medical Resources” course focusing on available information, credibility, and online research to drastically increase the utility of Wikipedia and its ilk for both the medical community and patients.

What do you think?  Are all medical students aware of the issues concerning the accuracy and impartiality of some of the articles relating to medical information in Wikipedia or do we take it for granted that they know this?  Should we be encouraging students to edit articles which are factaully inaccurate or should those of us involved in medical education be taking that task on rather than starting another medical wiki?

How to take a screenshot

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment

A few people have asked Dundee e-MedEd recently how to take a screenshot of a webpage so that they can paste it into a PowerPoint slide for one of their lectures.  If you’re using a PC you use the Print Screen button.  I used to think if you hit this key it would print your screen to your printer (did anyone else think that?), but what it actually does is capture a snapshot of what’s on your PC monitor as an image file which you can then paste into a PowerPoint slide, Word document or into a graphics package so that you can edit it.  If you use a Mac you take a shot using the command and shift key together with 3 to capture the whole screen and 4 if you want to draw a rectangle to capture a specific area of the screen.

For helpful instructions of how to take a screenshot take a look at which outlines how to do it on a PC, Mac and iPhone/iPod Touch.

Categories: How to Tags: , ,

NEJM Interactive Medical Cases

September 12, 2009 1 comment

The New England Journal of Medicine is piloting a series of Interactive Medical Cases.  During this limited pilot phase there will be free access to the interactive cases and the NEJM are inviting comments and feedback on the pilot cases.

At the moment there is just one case available – A 52-year-old man with diabetes mellitus who is  admitted to the hospital after presenting to the emergency department with abdominal discomfort.  You can try out the case on the NEJM site and if you create an account it will save your work automatically on sign in.  Below are some screenshots of what the cases look like.

NEJM Interactive Cases

NEJM Interactive Cases

The NEJM interactive cases present an evolving patient history and a series of questions and exercises designed to test your diagnostic and therapeutic skills. The cases include feedback on your answers and video, animation and interactive content let you learn more about mechanisms, diagnostic tests, and treatments.

Dundee e-MedEd has been working with clinicians in ENT and and DundeeChest to develop interactive cases to support some of the core clinical problems in the Dundee undergraduate curriculum.  If you would like to explore developing interactive virtual patient cases to support your system teaching be in touch.

Up and running

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

We have lift off on the new Dundee e-MedEd Blog.  This blog will be a hub for disseminating news, tips, ideas and links to other sites relating to medical education and on-line learning.

To kick things we’ll take a brief look at how the web has been changing over the past few years.  A buzz phrase in e-learning and tech-geek circles is Web 2.0. But what is Web 2.0 and what was Web 1.0?

The worldwide web as many people use it is Web 1.0 where we look for information, find it and read it, in what is essentially a one-way process. With the development of new free and open source tools over the past few years the web has now become the read write web, a creative space and a place to network with other people. This is Web 2.0, it is a more social and interactive form of the web and it encompasses blogging, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social bookmarking and social networking. Individuals can now create and publish their own content using free tools which let you write and publish to the web without needing to be an IT anorak who understands html or xml. There is also growing interest and research into how Web 2.0 can support teaching and learnng across the continuum of education.  For an overview on the changing nature of the internet and the world of  Web 2.0, the new social, read write web check out this this video by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology of  Kansas State University.

Categories: General Tags: , ,