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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Case-based Learning Introduced into an Allied Health Programme

Janice McKay, Peter White.

Case-based learning was introduced into two final year subjects in a health-care programme to encourage integration of learning from the three years, as well as a means of increasing integration with clinical experience. The study reviews the progress of the two final year subjects as well as the implementation of the learning strategy in a second year subject. The teaching format focuses on the presentation of clinical case scenarios to which students form responses to identified issues. For the two final year subjects, the aim is to support students to draw on learning from all stages of the programme and their clinical experience. The second year subject aims to encourage students to develop an integrated knowledge of the topics, providing an understanding of the strengths and weakness of different medical imaging formats in different clinical situations.

Action research incorporates cycles of reflect, plan, act and observe and supports the development of innovation in teaching situations. To date two action cycles have been conducted for the final year subjects, and one for the year two subject. Data gathered from the first implementation of the final year subjects was used to inform developments for the second cycle including Student Feedback Questionnaires, Subject Feedback Questionnaires, student focus group interviews, and a reflective diary kept by the subject leader. The second year subject has incorporated the same measures as well as comparison of questionnaire and interview data from graduates who took the same subject presented in a didactic format, and the year two students.

Case-based learning has increased final year students’ confidence in their knowledge and understanding and enhanced their connection between theory and practice. The significant development between Cycle 1 and 2 has been the inclusion of short, specific clinical cases alongside the main case studies to broaden the coverage of required clinical learning and enhanced management of tutorial classes to ensure clear objectives and learning outcomes are developed. At the time of preparing this submission, outcomes from the year two group are not available but it is anticipated that students will gain a more applied understanding of the subject relevant to clinical experience, compared to previous outcomes. Results will be reported.


Janice McKay  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Associate Professor in Radiography
Department of Optometry and Radiography Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Jan McKay is the programme leader of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Radiography. Her special interest is in promoting student centred, applied learning. She is currently leading an interdisciplinary study aimed at establishing an interdisciplinary framework for enhancing applied and life long learning in health and social care programmes.

Peter White  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Assistant Professor
Department of Optometry & Radiography
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • Case-based learning
  • Adapted problem-based learning
  • Applied learning
  • Theory-practice alignment

(30 min Conference Paper, English)