Wednesday 17 June 2015

eCardioConsult: Virtual veterinary cardiology patients

Advances in technology are leading to new and innovative approaches to clinical teaching and learning. Compared with passive methods of learning, an interactive case-based approach promotes development of clinical decision-making skills and is a challenging and fun way to learn. Although interactive digital patient programs are technically difficult to produce, the ‘virtual’ format provides an interactive environment where it is safe to make mistakes!

The case of the breathless dog
The RVC has developed an interactive online learning platform in which the user navigates through clinical cardiology scenarios. This provides vets and veterinary students with a simulated experience in treating cardiac small animal patients. Each virtual patient follows a case through presentation, history and physical examination, problem list and differentials, diagnostic tests, treatment and follow up. If users select the wrong management option, the patient may die. 

At vital stages of the case a veterinary ‘expert’ appears and at the end of the case the expert also provides a walkthrough of how to manage the case. The first virtual patient is now used by all third year RVC students as part of their cardiovascular teaching. In addition the case has been made available to veterinarians and has already been translated into 4 different languages.

The first case is available at

If you are using a mobile device a Flash browser such as Photon or Puffin is required.

Friday 10 April 2015

Education Technology Magazine - SPOCs

Back in March 2013, the RVC Learn team ran a Small Private Online Course (SPOC) which aimed to teach staff how to use RVC Learn more effectively.  Called “Learn RVC Learn”, the SPOC addressed the colleges need for a new flexible approach to staff training, and allowed staff to learn at anytime, at any pace and in any place. 

The SPOC aimed to teach staff how to use RVC Learn.  It covered all of the basic functions of Learn, as well as some more advanced features, all of which were taught in 4 weekly modules (Module 1 – Introduction to RVC Learn, Module 2 - Adding Resources and Activities, Module 3 – Using Communication Tools and Module 4 – Using Online Assessment Tools).

This unique online course could be taken in the users own time, and each module on the course took no longer than 2 hours to complete.  Face to Face training was provided for each module, at each campus, as well as an introduction to the course in the first week and a wrap up session in the final week.   Staff could choose whether to complete the whole course, or take selective modules they may be interested in.  The face to face sessions were not mandatory and were run on a drop in basis.

Education Technology Magazine has an interesting article on the rise of the SPOC which features the RVC SPOC, and its creator, RVC Learn Manager Ben Audsley.  “Going Boldly where no course has gone before” can be found here.

MoodleMOOT 2015

MoodleMOOT 2015

MoodleMoot is a yearly conference dedicated to the users, developers and administrators of the popular open-source Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle. (RVC Learn)

This year the Moot will be held at City University in Dublin, Ireland from 11th – 14th May.

Two members of the eMedia team submitted proposals to present at the conference, and both presentations have been accepted!

Alistair Spark, the VLE Officer at the RVC, will be presenting “Piloting double blind marking through Moodle at the RVC”, a presentation on our use of the new Online Coursework Management tool, created in conjunction with the ULCC. 

Ben Audsley will be presenting “Student Learning Technologists – a MoodleMoot success story” as a Pecha Kucha presentation-  a  presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total).  This presentation will tell the story of how the SLT role evolved at the RVC, and how students are helping the eMedia department shape the future eLearning strategy.

More information about MoodleMoot 2015 can be found here.