Mobile first points out to a trend among users of growing utilization of smartphones instead of PCs for internet browsing. This is even more relevant when applied to young and digital-native target persons. Generation Z individuals seem to have been born with mobile devices under their arms, and this is confirmed by data from our international program of clinical reasoning training for medical students. In the five medical schools in which Practicum Universities has been launched, most students log in to the Practicum Script portal and solve the cases using their mobile devices. Now, users will also be able to leave comments on the clinical discussion forum using these devices.
Madrid, January 16, 2020. Debate and controversy are fundamental pedagogical pillars of the clinical simulation tool Practicum Script, and mobile devices are prevailing as navigation tools. Based on that, we want to announce the integration of the clinical debate forum into the Practicum Script mobile app. "We have repeated several times: Practicum Script is a game of clinical challenges that emphasizes reflective practice, dissent, and the possibility of embracing the gray scale of the clinical setting, and this involves the exchange of opinions," mentioned the President of the Practicum Institute, Dr. Eduardo Hornos. Specifically, this virtual athenaeum has become operational after December 18 for Android devices and after January 14 for iOS devices.
This special functionality is an open space for discussion of clinical cases so users, if willing to, can interact and share ideas and opinions and seek advice from other participants and from a moderator, who guides the conversation. The contributions are public and are presented in a time sequence. The objective is to promote collective networked learning among communities of students, residents, and specialists. According to Dr. Hornos, "the exchange of hypotheses and approaches, as well as the possibility of reviewing the opinion of experts and the scientific literature, improves clinical reasoning skills, which is precisely what is practiced with Practicum Script.”
A forum space was already available in the desktop version and is now also enabled in the app for discussion of different points of view among members participating in any of our courses. The forum can be used to initiate a topic for discussion, ask a question, or express uncertainties to be solved by other students or the tutor. This is part of an initial contribution in which new comments can be added to an open thread where the participants can add not only text but also images and videos. The forum thus allows for reflective participation compared with synchronous forms of communication (like chats), where immediacy hinders a proper analysis. Also, the students can select cases to receive alerts about them.
Our users speak
For Icíar Fernández Crespo, a medical student at the Francisco de Vitoria University (Spain), the possibility of having a tutor to address concerns is particularly interesting. "Also,” he points out, “the differential diagnoses that are presented are very complete." In the opinion of the Mexican gastroenterologist Elías San Vicente, “the experience from others enriches the diagnostic and therapeutic approach.” Franz López, a student from the Dominican Republic, mentions that “comparing the answers gives the participant a possibility to counterbalance their opinions.” For the Argentine cardiologist Silvina Galetto, "Practicum Script is effective in the tasks of reinforcing concepts, adding new knowledge, and facilitating medical debate."