[Striking a new path in medical education. CAMPUS, an interactive, case-based training system]

Cosima Jahnke, Albrecht Elsässer, Gudrun Heinrichs, Rüdiger Klar, Christoph Bode, Thomas K Nordt
Medizinische Klinik 2006 May 15, 101 (5): 365-72

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Computer-assisted teaching and learning tools offer new opportunities for improving education and training of medical professionals. CAMPUS represents a software for computer-based, problem-oriented learning. It is a case-based training system which provides the patient's history within a highly realistic, multimedia format. Thus, the interactive design is expected to challenge, test and improve the medical knowledge and the diagnostic skills of the students. The objective of the present study was to introduce CAMPUS as a computer-based learning tool and to present preliminary results with regard to acceptance and user-friendliness.

METHODS: CAMPUS was evaluated by 52 students regarding quality and experienced learning success. A tutorial was conducted within separate, small-numbered groups of students, each working on one learning case. The virtual case started with a summary of the patient's leading symptoms. The students independently took the patient history and carried out the physical examination. Then, they were asked to suggest differential diagnoses, refer the patient to appropriate diagnostic examinations and were encouraged to choose adequate therapeutic strategies. Subsequently, the quality of CAMPUS and the subjective learning success were evaluated with a standardized questionnaire.

RESULTS: Nearly all students described the user interface as visually attractive (51/52) and clearly structured (52/52). In particular, the students found the use of videos to be advantageous. A marked learning success was described by most students (46/52) and all students considered learning with CAMPUS to be effective.

CONCLUSION: CAMPUS offers an innovative training program to improve medical education and to enhance conventional teaching methods efficiently.

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