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Digital education

Supporting Blended Learning with Digital Curation Tools

29 November 2016

Welcome to week three of our series on Education Innovation Fund projects. This week Duncan Coles in the School of Medicine is reviewing his experience of digital curation tools.


Digital curation platforms, such as, Del.i.cious, and Pinterest are now widely available on the Internet. They provide a means to collect web-based resources on a topic, organise them, critically comment, and share them with others, including via social media and blogs. Most platforms allow multiple “curators”, such that collaborative approaches can also be used, and they also encourage users to follow other topics and curators, thus building a network of interested others (for a review see Cole and Cunningham 2014).

The use of curation platforms for teaching and learning is still in its early days, but interest is growing. In Cardiff’s School of Medicine and School of Biosciences we have been using these technologies for several years to support student learning, and have run an HEA-funded project using and wikis to support Case-based learning in phase 1 of the new C21 curriculum. This was moderately successful, but we encountered a number of issues, including sustainability and integration with existing university IT systems.  The project we are now running with support from the Centre of Education Innovation aims to widen our approach to more fully evaluate existing practice and address some of these issues.

Our project involves trialling several platforms, including, Storify, Flipboard, Pinterest, Diigo and Del.i.cious. We are also evaluating how Yammer can be used for this type of activity. We are currently reviewing each of these technologies from multiple perspectives, although not all of them are currently being used in the front line of our teaching and learning. Examples of how we are using them are given below (links are available as indicated):

  1. Biochemistry in medicine: Storify and Scoopit
  2. Forensic medicine: Storify and Flipboard
  3. Head and neck anatomy: Scoopit
  4. Metabolic bone disease: Flipboard
  5. Reproductive medicine: Scoopit
  6. Year 3 medical students on Hospital Front Door placement: Yammer (no link as currently this is an invite-only group)

We will be evaluating the use of the resources following their use in their respective modules, all of which are currently running. Student and staff views will be sought using surveys and focus groups towards the end of the current semester. Following this we will be producing a set of resources to support staff and students wishing to use these technologies, including technology reviews, case studies and “How to” guides.


Cole D and Cunningham AM (2014) “How to Curate Online Resources” Education for Primary Care 25(3), 176-178


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