Case Study: Student e-learning projects


Medicine and Dentistry
University of Bristol

Tools used


Dr Stephanie Eckoldt,
Mr Dominic Alder,


  1. Enable students to select and study specific learning objective
  2. Generate online learning resources and tutorials suitable for use by students.


The General Medical Council has set out the need for a shift in teaching and learning in medicine - from the techno-rational to the more reflexive. Universities should be aiming to produce doctors who are both scholar and scientist.

What was done

Medical students in year 3 (and occasionally year 5) can take an e-learning optional unit (Student Selected Component or SSC). The unit requires them to create online learning material on a subject related to their clinical teaching.

Students taking the unit have created a remarkable range of materials, often of an exceptional standard. Projects include:

  • e-learning tutorials that include interactive content, images and video
  • a series of educational podcasts, either as video or audio
  • even their own teaching website, such as Medicles by Chris Gillett and Chris Bailey, and Meducation by Alastair Buick.


Students get the opportunity to learn about using technology in education, alongside learning more about their chosen topic. Some of these projects are incorporated into existing e-learning resources in Hippocrates or Blackboard, and thus contribute to future medical education.

The benefits of this approach mean that it is being extended and offered to students in some year 4 courses as well.