Development and integration of CAL: a case study in medicine

N M Hamilton, J Furnace, K P Duguid, P J Helms, J G Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Context The Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen viewed the use of Computer Assisted Leaning (CAL) and other IT based learning resources as a possible way of coping with an increase in student numbers whilst maintaining or increasing the quality of medical teaching.

Objectives Our primary objective was to develop and integrate Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) applications into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Subjects/Materials A wide spectrum of CAL applications were developed dealing with many topics in the curriculum.

Methods We formulated a structured approach to CAL development by establishing a team of professionals (forming a CAL Unit), using existing expertise and by implementing a process to ensure that the CAL had a maximum impact upon the curriculum. The CAL included multimedia tutorials, learning guides, computer aided assessment (CAA) and Model Patients.

Results There are now over 150 IT based learning resources in our curriculum and course evaluation has showed that these have been well received by students.

Conclusions We conclude that with the wise use of the many skills and facilities usually available within an institution and by promoting collaborative projects with others, the production of high quality CAL is possible within most institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Education
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • computer-assisted instruction
  • methods
  • undergraduate medical education
  • curriculum
  • educational measurement


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