Virtual Patients Synthesized Features (Case Mix & Organization…
Virtual Patients Synthesized Features
Case Progression / Path Type
Branching or Linear
Role of chance
use own questions
predefined menu of questions
Examinations & Investigations
by clicking on representative images
by selecting from a menu
VP responds in written text
VP responds in spoken word
Image of VP
Real patients provide extraneous info/red herrings
how much is spontaneously provided by the VP in response to a question
Is clinical info in its raw form? Or interpreted?
E.g. audio of a heart murmur
Case Mix & Organization
Case assignment / selection
are the same cases completed by all students?
or are supplement cases provided to cover that which has not been covered in a period e.g. a clinical rotation?
if so, how are these determined?
Spectrum of patients and disease
or rare conditions
or a combination
classic clinical findings
reflecting a spectrum of age, cultural background and ethnicity
Number of cases
how many are available?
how many are learners expected to complete?
does the difficulty of cases vary within the set?
& is this random or systematic?
by organ system
does instruction occur as feedback on choices?
or 'consultation' with a 'virtual expert'
or access to other learning resources
does the VP provide the learner with feedback along the way (patients wouldn't)?
or wait until the end?
can learners request hints?
does the VP require listing/prioritising differential diagnoses
is the learner required to justify key actions e.g. examinations or lab tests by linking to possible diagnoses
the VP might require learners to explicitly contrast different cases
for one or more cases - an expert approach to a similar case is illustrated to similar (prospective vs retrospective - after case complete)
Learner collaboration ( / User Modality)
do learners complete cases alone or as a group?
if multiple users in activity, what roles do they take?
is the VP a central part of the curriculum?
a required addition?
an optional extra?
does assessment focus on:
how was scoring rubric devised and tested?
Case development and maintenance
Source of case info
does the VP use real clinical data?
if so, what is the source?
e.g. electronic medical record
how is patient privacy and confidentiality maintained?
Who developed the case: individual/group ; level of content expertise ; and educational training
reviewed by local or national peers?
is the case periodically reviewed for currency & accuracy of clinical and treatment information, and to respond to learner feedback?
Target learner level
2nd year undergraduate
assessment (see branch)
Coverage/Topic --> see case mix
Objectives and outcomes
External / General Features
which tool / system was used to create the activity?
which technical format is at the user end - typically text / HTML for web and application/EXE for disc-based media?
Integration and dependence
what other tools, systems or other contextual factors does the activity depend upon to run properly?
Title (Name given to the VP activity)
Description (free text)
Language e.g. EN-GB
Identifier (unique ID or address)
Author and other contributor information
Typical Study time (time in minutes for typical learner to complete activity)