Pilot study & evaluation

Project 1: Pilot study and evaluation

The pilot study was the initial phase of the eViP programme. Here, each partner explored the feasibility of repurposing and enriching Virtual Patient (VP) examples selected from the existing VP collections. These were repurposed and enriched in different ways, and for different purposes.

Partners obtained feedback from the staff regarding the repurposing and enrichment of VPs, and also student feedback from those who had used the repurposed VPs.

Each partner institution selected the appropriate VP cases for the pilot study from the existing VP collections and repurposed an existing VP from one context to another.

In addition, some VPs could be “content enriched”, which means that additional multi-media, animations, and supportive material that would enhance the VP could be added.

As part of this initial pilot study, a total of 19 VPs were repurposed and enriched.

The pilot study also enabled eViP partners to develop their expertise in a variety of areas. For example, Karolinska Institutet is heavily involved in repurposing VPs to different cultures and languages focused on repurposing and enriching VPs for assessment. On the other hand, Jagiellonian University, Poland, successfully adapted LMU Munchen University’s VPs for their own culture. LMU, which already had a large VP collection for Continuing Medical Education purposes, focused on repurposing the VPs for undergraduates.


Because of the various types of repurposing and enrichment undertaken by the various eViP partners, the evaluation criteria differed. However as a minimum, all partners agreed to evaluate and obtain feedback from staff involved in the repurposing and content enrichment process; after all, this was the main focus of the pilot study.

The majority of partners also conducted supplementary student evaluation and feedback to better inform the pilot study. Some examples can be seen below:

“I would definitely say that it’s easier to convert an existing case than it is to create a new case from scratch.[…] If there were more places to find good quality e-learning resources to enrich patient cases then that would speed up the process”. (respondent on the University of Warwick pilot study evaluation)

“Much more environmentally friendly. Interactive choices was a good way to get us thinking about the case” (Student feedback on St George’s University pilot study evaluation)


Many partners initially found the repurposing and enrichment of the VPs to be time consuming, although they expected the process to accelerate. Students responded very well to this pilot study.

Without any attempt at regulation or co-ordination, the partners in this pilot study demonstrated repurposing and enriching for the majority of uses described in the original rationale for VPs.
However, repurposing and enriching in this exercise was not attempting to investigate the issue of multilingual access (through metadata for example), since these issues are dealt with in Project 2 and Project 3, but rather to look beyond that step to the point where partners and non-partners would attempt to repurpose and enrich the VPs for their own needs.

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