This research paper looked at the effectiveness of using virtual patients in the medical school setting. It was a qualitative study that gathered data from multiple formats of implementing virtual patients into the curiculum. I really enjoyed this paper as it investigated not only how the technology was used, but questioned whether it enhanced the learning experience enough to justify it. I feel like it is important reflect on why you are using a specific method to teach and question whether it reaches your goal. Trendy technology has limitations and the paper outlined how the majority of students asked for more guidance when trying to learn online with the virtual patient program. If you were in an actual oral practical setting at a school this would not be as much of an issue, the instructor would be right there. Another interesting point they found was that format with the most structured timeline resulted in higher student perceived effectiveness. An apparent weakness of this study was the lack of quantitive data, everything relied on questionnaires. In summary, I feel this was an excellent paper that opens the discussion to how and why technology is effective in a medical school setting.
Edelbring, S., Broström, O., Henriksson, P., Vassiliou, D., Spaak, J., Dahlgren, L., & … Zary, N. (2012). Integrating virtual patients into courses: follow-up seminars and perceived benefit. Medical Education, 46(4), 417-425. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04219.x