Innovative online resources support self-directed learning

Teaching med students key information across a wide range of topics in their first two years of study is a difficult task. Lecturers can teach only a limited number of topics in detail, leaving students to read into many topics themselves. While self-directed study is a key skill, many students are overwhelmed with the amount of topics they need to cover within just two years.

To guide students with their learning, Max Brodermann, Medical student at Hertford College, and Professor David Greaves, lecturer at Hertford, decided to set up new online learning resources. Its structure is very clear: students start out with a quiz; followed by key information and classic papers; a fun fact; further insights from cell and molecular biology; and clinically relevant tasks. In the last step, students are asked what further reading they think they will need to write a good essay and have to provide a few recent reviews in the topic area of the online resources.

A resource around blood clotting piloted the project, but Brodermann is convinced that the format can be applied across the Oxford Medicine syllabus. Potentially, it could even be adopted beyond, as students from all divisions are asking for more standardised eLearning material.


A great concise and simple way of putting information. Very clear and efficient.

– Second year Medicine student

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Guiding self-directed learning with online resources



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