International Virtual Medical School advances learning content creation, management and brokerage for medical education

Dundee 03 September 2004The International Virtual Medical School (IVIMEDS) is a major international collaboration of 37 medical schools and organisations, created to meet the challenges facing medical education by combining the latest educational thinking with advances in information and communications technology. IVIMEDS embraces the concept of re-usable learning objects (RLOs), which enable flexible and easy retrieval, customization, reconfiguration and re-use of e-learning materials; sharing of existing learning and teaching resources sourced from leading medical schools, the Internet and publishers; and adoption of a full range of delivery methods.


Learn eXact, Giunti Interactive Labs' LCMS Platform, was selected to deploy a fully functional and comprehensive first generation platform, named IVIMEDS 1G, to provide a proof of concept for IVIMEDS partner institutions. The IVIMEDS 1G beta version allows the partner schools to contribute to and access resources from a bank of learning objects; use a curriculum map as a framework of learning resources; use virtual patients from a virtual practice; assemble learning resources by teachers creating their own programme; and use content in different learning contexts and with different learning strategies.

The IVIMEDS 1G Platform beta version has been developed as a proof of concept. This new platform demonstrates that schools can share learning materials by contributing to and accessing an IVIMEDS bank of resources. These resources which are "re-usable learning objects" (RLOs) may vary in size or "granularity", ranging from single slide equivalents to sequences of slides or a module within a course. Sources of learning resources within the bank may be the partner schools, the Internet or published materials.

The curriculum map is a unique feature of the IVIMEDS approach. It provides a useful user interface. The map with the learning outcomes embedded within it can be used as a framework for storing and accessing learning resources and for identifying relationships between learning outcomes and learning objects.

A virtual practice and its virtual patients can provide an aid to learning and an authentic learning experience in both traditional and problem-based curricula. Use of the virtual patients emphasises the integration of theory and practice, a holistic approach to medicine and the need for continuing care.

Teachers can select resources from the repository of RLOs appropriate to their own situation and can use them in their existing teaching programmes or reassemble them into new learning programmes. IVIMEDS content in the form of RLOs can be used with a wide variety of educational strategies, platforms and devices and is independent of the approach to learning and delivery means adopted by the teacher or student.

Giunti Interactive labs is specialized in eLearning Standardisation and R&D and Licensor of learn eXact suite, an LCMS technology for new generation eLearning content creation, management and brokerage interoperable with all major LMS and VLE solutions on the market place. Giunti Labs has offices in Sestri Levante, Genoa, Milan, Florence, and San Francisco.

Leslie Versweyveld

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