David Dewhurst, Eric Borgstein, Mary E. Grant & Michael Begg
Medical teacher, 2009
"The development of online virtual patients has proved to be an effective vehicle for pedagogical and technological skills transfer and capacity building for medical and healthcare educators in Malawi. A project between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Malawi has delivered more than 20 collaboratively developed, virtual patients, contextualised for in-country medical and healthcare education and, more significantly, a cadre of healthcare professionals skilled in developing digital resources and integrating these into their emerging curricula. The process of engaging with new approaches to teaching and delivering personalised, context sensitive content via a game-informed, technology-supported process has contributed to the ability of healthcare educators in Malawi to drive pedagogical change, meet the substantial challenges of delivering new curricula, cope with increasing student numbers and promote teacher professional development. This initial phase of the project has laid the foundation for a broader second phase that focuses on promoting curriculum change, developing educational infrastructure and in-country capacity to create, and integrate digital resources into education and training across multi-professional groups and across educational levels."