Not too long ago PBL learning was the “hot new thing” in medical education. Now educators in St. George’s School of Medicine in London are exploring a different type of PBL called Dynamic-PBL. Dynamic PBL provides web based interactive cases that provides learners with a series of patient management pathways. In 2014, Dr. Poulton and colleagues performed a randomized controlled study exploring the efficacy in D-PBL vs. Linear PBL in midterm exam scores. The study design was a crossover design with students switching between the D-PBL and linear groups during the semester. Investigators did find that students did better in the D-PBL group at least in questions that pertained to D-PBL. Although such results are not entirely convincing for the use of “Dynamic Web Based Virtual Patients”, such a learning tool seems to be more aligned with real world scenarios where clinicians are faced with multiple management pathways and there is no one right answer. I imagine such a method is similar to UCI’s simulations, which have always been highly popular, although expensive to run.
- Poulton T, Ellaway RH, Round J, Jivram T, Kavia S, Hilton S.Exploring the Efficacy of Replacing Linear Paper-Based Patient Cases in Problem-Based Learning With Dynamic Web-Based Virtual Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial.J Med Internet Res 2014;16(11):e240.URL: https://www.jmir.org/2014/11/e240.DOI: 10.2196/jmir.3748.PMID: 25373314 PMCID: 4259985