Case Studies

Our Case Studies area contains examples of innovative use of technology to enhance learning and teaching within the MB ChB programme.


Hippocrates is a teaching website for year 3 medicine that has recently seen a complete refresh. This site was set up to help medical students engage with all the subject matter covered in their 3rd year and to work towards creating equal access to teaching material and resources throughout the clinical academies. When students enter year 3 – and move away from the lecture theatre and into academy-based clinical teaching – they face a number of new challenges. This website also aims to help students with this transition into clinical medicine.

It is populated with a variety of learning materials from tutorials to case-studies to useful video footage and links to external medical education resources. Several of the e-tutorials were written by e-learning SSC students.

Decision trees – international health

The aim of the project was to create a series of scenario-based decision tree tutorials where the user would undertake a range of different healthcare roles whilst working in a fictitious developing country. The project aimed to give students an initial idea of the political, economic and social challenges faced when trying to practice medicine in developing countries.

The tutorials aimed to reflect the problem-based learning cycle and enable students to reflect on the consequences of the decisions they make as they progress through the tutorials. They were not designed to give right or wrong answers to the students but instead to make them aware of the consequences of the decisions they choose.

An evaluation programme was put in place over a period of 6 months, including two sets of focus groups and two observation sessions. Significant changes were made to the tutorials based on the feedback from the participants, and the final workshop was recorded for use in a forthcoming paper.

Eliciting student attitudes – palliative care

Medical students often have misconceptions about palliative care, and articulate anxieties and expectations similar to those of the lay public. This project aimed to introduce medical students to palliative care and overcome attitudes such as seeing death as failure and avoidance of dying patients, which can all adversely influence patient care. Professional attitudes are important in many areas of medicine, but particularly so in palliative care.

Initially, text-based decision tree tutorials were produced by final year medical students about palliative care during an SSC project. These were developed into online packages by teams from palliative medicine and the Centre for Medical Education.

We performed a mixed methods study to evaluate whether the resulting e-tutorials enabled students to consider their attitudes and/or taught attitudes. As part of each e-learning tutorial, students were asked to write reflective notes on their experiences of studying the material.

Anthology of creative work – Out of Our Heads

What happens
when people reflect on medical themes through artistic media?

Out of our heads is an online arts anthology created by medical students and staff to showcase the artistry of people associated with Bristol medicine.

Undergraduate medical students at Bristol are given opportunities to reflect on their own personal medical experiences through artistic media during their course. This could be through paintings, sculptures, film-making or poetry. The website aims to collate the best of this student artwork to help humanise the image of medical education at Bristol, for the benefit of students, applicants and the public.


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