In addition to numerous lecture theatres, teaching laboratories and seminar rooms, our students are supported throughout their study by general and course-specific facilities dedicated to teaching purposes, outlined below. Several of these key teaching facilities form part of our nationally-recognised Applied and Integrated Medical Sciences Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (AIMS CETL), and we also make extensive use of innovative e-learning tools.
Human Patient Simulators
The Human Patient Simulation Teaching Suites each house a state-of-the-art, life-sized, high-fidelity, METI Human Patient Simulator (HPS). These can be programmed to model a wide range of physiological, pharmacological and pathological states. A few mouse clicks can transform the model from a healthy subject being used to demonstrate a fundamental physiological mechanism (eg the response to breathing hypoxic gas mixtures), to a patient in a disease-state requiring treatment (eg septic shock).
Within the faculty, the School of Physiology and Pharmacology is pioneering the use of Human Patient Simulators in undergraduate medical and biomedical education. Only a few institutions worldwide use simulation in this way to teach fundamental physiology where the simulator is used as a healthy human subject (the concept of 'simulator as subject') as well as a treatable patient. This allows the demonstration of key principles of physiology that students find difficult when taught using traditional methods, and classic experiments that are no longer possible using human subjects due to ethical constraints. In the same way, we also use the simulators to teach principles of pharmacology.
Our veterinary and biomedical sciences students, as well as medical and dental students from other faculties, are benefiting from using the Human Patient Simulator embedded as part of their learning alongside traditional teaching. Students are also able to use the simulators during extended practical work, particularly for final year dissertation projects to design experiments and collect and analyse in-depth systems physiological data.
An interactive virtual microscope developed by the School of Physiology and Pharmacology is used extensively for histology teaching. It provides online access to an expanding digital archive of high resolution scanned images of the best examples of our tissue sections, prepared over the past 30 years using many different staining methods.
Many of the scanned images have been annotated by staff to highlight key learning points; students can also add their own notes using a personal user account. Online quizzes, with instant formative feedback, enable students to test their understanding of histology and the link between structure and function.
Students taking the professional programmes of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science can also access annotated images of histopathological material enabling them to compare normal and diseased tissue.
A live virtual microscope demonstration is available. Simply register as a 'New User' by entering the information requested and using the activation key 'uobvm'. If you come back to the site you would choose the 'Existing User' option in which case it will ask for the 'username' that the registration process requires you to choose.
eBiolabs is a set of integrated online tools that helps our students to prepare for laboratory classes. These tools combine interactive media with formative self-evaluation tests, allowing students to learn and practice the methods and techniques they will use in a laboratory without risking valuable time, equipment or materials. Experience has shown that better-prepared students get much more out of the time spent in laboratories, giving them the confidence and skills to concentrate fully on their scientific studies.
Online pre-lab quizzes test students' understanding of the techniques they will use in the laboratory, whilst post-lab quizzes and assignments enable them to upload and interpret their experimental data after the class. All quizzes deliver instant formative feedback that guides students' learning and consolidates their understanding.
eBiolabs materials are developed and used extensively by our schools of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Physiology and Pharmacology. In developing this material we have interacted closely with staff who pioneered this approach to teaching at Bristol ChemLabS.
The concept of supporting lab-based teaching by developing such ‘Dynamic Laboratory Manuals’ is currently being extended to all practical teaching across the University and we are closely involved with this initiative.
Find out more at the eBiolabs website.
Vesalius Clinical Training Centre
Located in the Centre for Clinical & Comparative Anatomy (CCCA) in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The Vesalius Clinical Training Centre incorporates an anatomy suite that has been designed to provide clinical anatomy teaching and surgical skills training for doctors, dentists and allied health professionals at all stages of their careers. Much of the equipment is unique and was developed specifically to support forthcoming changes to training and assessment within the NHS and the ongoing changes to undergraduate medical and dental education.
The suite features 12 specially designed workstations with innovative operating tables, overhead cameras and operating lights. Integral to each table is a rugged and waterproof touch-screen monitor to display images from the class instructor’s camera or endoscope, or our own database of medical images and tutorials.
The centre also houses a striking museum of pathology and anatomy specimens, one of the most comprehensive collections in the country. There are study spaces providing additional touch-screen access to the collection database, and three unique display units providing space for 400 specimens. These allow, for example, correlation of cross sectional anatomy with the latest forms of medical imaging.
Our students also access further resources to enable independent study. These include: