Integration into a curriculum

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Integration means “the process of combining with other things in a single larger unit or system” [MacMillian Dictionary].

Virtual patient integration is a state in which a VP or set of VPs is part of learners’ normal training schedule, embedded in curriculum (curricular integration), which means that the VPs are listed in the syllabus as a mandatory or recommended learning activity, time is reserved for VP activities and what the students learn with VPs is relevant for how their performance is evaluated. It can be a part of the educational design process, where virtual patients can be effectively combined with other learning activities in the curriculum.

Integrated learning with virtual patients means to use virtual patients in order to stimulate the learner to combine knowledge and skills from different disciplines in one activity.

Finally, technical integration of virtual patients means all the IT solutions which enable automated control or data transfer between different software tools to facilitate a seamless learning experience for the students (e.g. automated authorization, combination of virtual patient activities with other educational electronic tools in learning management systems, as well as data transfer for learning analytics or performance documentation purposes).

Curriculum integration factors

All tasks performed, established rules and environmental properties that facilitate, inhibit or are in general important to consider for a perceived successful (meaning beneficial in terms of student or patient outcomes assessed both objectively and subjectively) use of VPs (single case or collections) at any stage of the curriculum.

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