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Collaborating with Digital Tools and Peers in Medical Education: Cases and Simulations as Interventions in Learning


ISAIJLS Volume 40, Number 5, ISSN 0020-4277


Medical education has pioneered educational innovation in higher education as exemplified by the problem-based learning (PBL) movement. A multitude of reviews and meta-analyses indicate that the PBL movement has been successful in many ways. Innovations in medical education, however, are not limited to curricular reform and interactive arrangements between teacher and peers. Increasingly, computers and other digital media are transforming the delivery of certain types of instruction. Technical innovations are being introduced to convey different types of procedural and visual-perceptual skills. For example, different types of simulators are adopted to visualise or train the basics of surgical skills, resuscitation skills, and palpation skills. Even in fields that have a long tradition of relying on high-quality case-based visual materials, such as radiology and pathology, new digital tools such as digital repositories of radiology materials and web-based microscopy offer significant advantages for different forms of case-based learning that involve long-term access to materials, optimisation of presentation, and systematisation of the learning environment. It is argued that the research in these fields would benefit from a shift from media-comparative and evaluative research to more basic research concerned with the mechanisms of learning within a given medium, incorporating both process and product measures. We start this special issue by providing a brief overview of the literature and the articles documenting and analysing learning processes in such settings.


Helle, L. & Saljo, R. (2012). Collaborating with Digital Tools and Peers in Medical Education: Cases and Simulations as Interventions in Learning. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 40(5), 737-744. Retrieved January 26, 2020 from .

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