University of Pittsburgh

ACIE Award 2009

Treating Virtual Athletes for Injuries

Kevin Conley and Amy Aggelou

Kevin Conley

SHRS-Sports Med. & Nutrition
FRTOW 4049 Pittsburgh
(412) 383-6737

Amy E. Aggelou

SHRS-Sports Med. & Nutrition
FRTOW 5062 Pittsburgh
(412) 383-9738

All students in the undergraduate athletic training education program spend time working with an athletic team from Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, or a local high school.  However, the types of injuries they encounter differ depending on the school placement, sport, and performance level. To make learning situations more similar, Amy Aggelou and Kevin Conley, Sports Medicine and Nutrition, used their ACIE project Creating Clinical Competence through Interactive Technology to provide standardized online scenarios replicating various athletic injuries. These scenarios, completed outside of class, accompany topics from different class lectures.

In each session, the student determines how to treat an injured athlete just as they would during a game or practice. After selecting from a list of questions to determine the virtual patient’s medical history, the student must then treat the patient’s injury step-by-step, including such crucial details as putting on gloves and selecting the correct instruments.  To simulate more severe and time-sensitive injuries, the time limit for each question varies. Although there are multiple correct answers to many questions, there is one “best answer” to each. “Nobody likes to take multiple choice tests, and sitting and filling in the bubble only goes so far,” Aggelou says of her project. “This engages the students, requiring them to think critically as they analyze a situation and make decisions.  They’re getting immediate feedback, and that’s something you can’t replicate on a fill-in-the-bubble test.”

Innovation in Education Report Summary

2009 Teaching Times