6 Ideas for Using Patient Video Cases in Active Learning

Over the years, many educators have shared some of the ways that they use ReelDx beyond merely a lecture tool. Here are 6 of our favorite suggestions to help inspire you.

Real patient video cases (PVCs) are a great way to spice up your lectures and bring authentic patient experiences into your classroom. But, what if you’re looking for a more active way to engage your students? Studies have shown that student performance increases when exposed to active learning techniques compared to just lecture alone.

Over the years, many educators have shared some of the ways that they use ReelDx beyond merely a lecture tool. Here are 6 of our favorite suggestions to help inspire you.

Guided Classroom Discussions

Ted Lee – Missouri Southern State University EMS Program

In our EMT and advanced EMT classes where we're just introducing EMS to them, we use ReelDx in a kind of a guided classroom. We'll bring up the video and we'll walk through it with them. Then we start with, you know, protocol, step by step; What are your treatment options? What do you think is going on? Diagnosis, differential diagnosis? And really have the students start this critical thinking aspect of, well, what would I choose to do now, based on what I'm seeing? And you know, the two-to-three-minute length of the videos is pretty perfect in that you can kind of stop and start and say, okay, you walk in, this is what you see.

Asynchronous Online Group Assignments

Dr. Deb Bruly, Olivet Nazarene University School of Nursing

In the online courses, there isn't a teacher right there with them helping them to learn at the level that we want them to learn. In advanced pathophysiology, our students are initially able to view the assigned video with the first drawer enabled for vital sign and demographic information. Then the students work in groups to create a differential diagnosis for that video.

After they post that, the drawer is enabled for them to see the differential diagnosis that the health care provider actually had for that patient. Then they see that differential diagnosis and if their idea of which diagnosis is appropriate is amongst those, and then they have to provide a diagnosis with a rationale for that patient. So, they post that in the LMS.

After they've done that, the next week they get to see what the actual diagnosis was and they work together in groups collaboratively to create a treatment plan. This includes pharmacological, non-pharmacological treatments, as well as referrals and patient family education.

After they've submitted their treatment plans, then they get the chance to look at all the additional wonderful information that ReelDx gives about that diagnosis and they get to see everything that's there. They also get at that chance the ability to see all of the other assigned case studies. There's three case studies assigned in each class for three different groups, but now they get to see everybody's, so they get to just run right through them and learn in an even quicker manner than when they were working so hard to figure out what the diagnosis was and what the treatment plan should be.

Online Class Discussions

Ted Lee – Missouri Southern State University EMS Program

We’ve been using ReelDx in an online learning platform as a discussion group. First, they have to watch the video and they have either a series of questions that we have for them to answer, and they can't see anybody else's answers before they post their own.

When they post their responses to it, then it opens up the chat or the discussion group for them, and then they can see everybody else's. And as part of those exercises, they're required to, one, I have to post my own, but then I also have to respond to a fellow student about their post as well. And what we see is some people will focus on “I think this is a respiratory issue”, “I think this is a cardiovascular issue”. And then they start talking back and forth about why they felt one way or another based off of the information that they obtained. For us, they have a week to do these things, so by Wednesday they have to turn in their initial discussion, and then by Sunday, they have to have a response to another student’s post.

And then that following week, we bring these up in class and talk about discussions that happened in the group. And sometimes those discussions are pretty standard; everybody was pretty much on point, everybody saw the same thing, everybody felt the same way about the case. But anytime that there was a difference of opinion or a concern, it facilitated a more in-depth conversation with it and for us too.

When you have a student out in clinic or you have a student out in internship, they talk about experiences that they've had or patients that they've seen. But we don't always have a great picture because we weren't out there with them. So, we're kind of unsure about what they're talking about or what they're trying to bring. But when they're talking about these video cases, we know exactly what they're talking about. We've seen the videos. We know the case, so it's a more pointed and a more directed conversation where everybody's kind of on the same page.

Simulation Activity Enhancement

Dr. Michele Wolf, University of Tampa Nursing Program

In the simulation lab, on the video screen next to the bed, the real patient describes their symptoms and the nursing students assess the patient's health, make the diagnosis and order tests, in collaboration with their classmates. By the end of their training, each student will run a simulation completely on their own. This better prepares students to work with real patients and expands their clinical reasoning long before they work with real patients.

What better way to teach than to manage patients who are presenting real symptoms? The students are working together to determine the best course of treatment.

For example, in one assessment, a female patient presented with abdominal pains but reported there was absolutely no chance of pregnancy. In this simulation, one group of students accidentally forgot to order a pregnancy test before sending the patient for imaging. The lack of a result in the patient's record was caught by another provider before the patient underwent an x-ray. As it turned out, the patient was actually pregnant. I doubt that any of the nurses who were part of that training will ever make that mistake again.

Flipped Classroom Discussions

Brent Norris – Pacific University Physician Assistant Studies Program

I started doing more asynchronous learning with the students where I would assign certain courses or certain cases to the students. I would limit the sections that they had access to, usually allowing them to see the video and the vitals demographics, chief complaint, and medical history, but then hiding the remainder of the information such as differential diagnosis, outcomes, diagnostic studies, and actual treatments for the patient.

And then, the students would review that information on their own at home, then come to class and practice presenting the patient encounter as they saw it proceeding. They would relate the information that they would see as the most likely diagnosis and what studies they would like to choose, what treatments they would likely implement, and we would discuss that in class together.

Expanding the Breadth of Conditions & Demographics Students Are Exposed To

Ashley Smallwood – Henry & Patrick Community College EMS Program

It's a great tool to have in your tool belt, speaking now to the accredited programs out there, this will make people perk up. It helps catch those areas that you will maybe not be able to catch because of where you are located, and I'm specifically thinking of programs that are maybe more rural or in the case of some of us right now, you know the pandemic’s just simply not letting you in the hospital and they're not letting you have those clinical experiences. You can start to catch those when your accreditor comes to you and says “hey, how are you making sure your students have access to a certain number of pediatric experiences?” You can add this to your tool belt for simulation, it's about as real as you can get.

Students get access to patients that they wouldn't have access to. So, for example, I can remember there's a really good case where a mother decided to treat her child with some herbal remedies and I think the child comes in with really, really low blood sugar. Normally, we don't see that necessarily in our area, we certainly wouldn't get a chance to see it in an NICU or anything like that, because we're not allowed in those areas post pandemic. It's been really nice to be able to have those specialties that normally we'd never be able to see this type of seizure associated with severe hypoglycemia and really put it in perspective, so students have been able to see things they wouldn't necessarily see.

Want to try these active learning techniques for yourself? Start your free trial of ReelDx today!

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Lisa Rezendez