Implementing remote collaboration in a virtual patient platform: usability study

  • Background: Learning with virtual patients is highly popular for fostering clinical reasoning in medical education. However, little learning with virtual patients is done collaboratively, despite the potential learning benefits of collaborative versus individual learning. Objective: This paper describes the implementation of student collaboration in a virtual patient platform. Our aim was to allow pairs of students to communicate remotely with each other during virtual patient learning sessions. We hypothesized that we could provide a collaborative tool that did not impair the usability of the system compared to individual learning and that this would lead to better diagnostic accuracy for the pairs of students. Methods: Implementing the collaboration tool had five steps: (1) searching for a suitable software library, (2) implementing the application programming interface, (3) performing technical adaptations to ensure high-quality connections for the users, (4) designing andBackground: Learning with virtual patients is highly popular for fostering clinical reasoning in medical education. However, little learning with virtual patients is done collaboratively, despite the potential learning benefits of collaborative versus individual learning. Objective: This paper describes the implementation of student collaboration in a virtual patient platform. Our aim was to allow pairs of students to communicate remotely with each other during virtual patient learning sessions. We hypothesized that we could provide a collaborative tool that did not impair the usability of the system compared to individual learning and that this would lead to better diagnostic accuracy for the pairs of students. Methods: Implementing the collaboration tool had five steps: (1) searching for a suitable software library, (2) implementing the application programming interface, (3) performing technical adaptations to ensure high-quality connections for the users, (4) designing and developing the user interface, and (5) testing the usability of the tool in 270 virtual patient sessions. We compared dyad to individual diagnostic accuracy and usability with the 10-item System Usability Scale. Results: We recruited 137 students who worked on 6 virtual patients. Out of 270 virtual patient sessions per group (45 dyads times 6 virtual patients, and 47 students working individually times 6 virtual patients minus 2 randomly selected deleted sessions) the students made successful diagnoses in 143/270 sessions (53%, SD 26%) when working alone and 192/270 sessions (71%, SD 20%) when collaborating (P=.04, η2=0.12). A usability questionnaire given to the students who used the collaboration tool showed a usability score of 82.16 (SD 1.31), representing a B+ grade. Conclusions: The collaboration tool provides a generic approach for collaboration that can be used with most virtual patient systems. The collaboration tool helped students diagnose virtual patients and had good overall usability. More broadly, the collaboration tool will provide an array of new possibilities for researchers and medical educators alike to design courses for collaborative learning with virtual patients.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Jan Kiesewetter, Inga HegeORCiDGND, Michael SailerORCiDGND, Elisabeth Bauer, Claudia Schulz, Manfred Platz, Martin Adler
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:384-opus4-978956
Frontdoor URLhttps://opus.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de/opus4/97895
ISSN:2369-3762OPAC
Parent Title (English):JMIR Medical Education
Publisher:JMIR Publications Inc.
Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universität Augsburg
Release Date:2022/09/05
Tag:Education
Volume:8
Issue:3
First Page:e24306
DOI:https://doi.org/10.2196/24306
Institutes:Philosophisch-Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Philosophisch-Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Empirische Bildungsforschung
Medizinische Fakultät
Medizinische Fakultät / Lehrstuhl für Medical Education Sciences
Philosophisch-Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Empirische Bildungsforschung / Lehrstuhl für Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):CC-BY 4.0: Creative Commons: Namensnennung (mit Print on Demand)