Development of video-based teaching- and assessment modules for communication competence in medicine

Focusing upon digital, video-based learning and testing environments, the project voLeA’s main research questions are which didactic strategies are most promising for fostering becoming physicians’ patient-communication competence and how this competence can be measured by means of a situational judgement test.

Target group

Medical students, medical educators, educational researchers.


Developing virtual learning and assessment modules is a way to make teaching and learning of interpersonal competencies in medical education more innovative and more accessible. As technology is gaining momentum in medical care, too, physicians are more and more challenged to interact with patients, explain complex subject matter to them and aid them in making reasonable decisions. Our digital learning modules are very useful in this respect as they feature video cases of good and bad examples of professional communication and particularly foster learners’ reflection and judgement regarding the quality of communication.


We want to improve medical education on physician-patient communication at TUM, but also beyond. In order to increase the impact of the project, we cooperate with several medical faculties in Germany who integrate our didactic material into their curricula.

Project Outline

In the BMBF-project voLeA, virtual, video-based modules for training and testing communicative competence of medical students regarding physician-patient conversations are developed. Effectively promoting communicative competence is a major challenge in medical education – in part because the effective teaching formats (such as role-play) require small-group instruction. Implementing virtual teaching modules in this context makes teaching and learning more diverse and flexible and also allows for trying out new didactic ideas. Having found in phase 1 of our project that video-based, reflection-oriented learning is very promising in this respect, our focus in phase 2 is to compare different didactic strategies to make learners reflect upon videoed examples. Moreover, we do research on process of transfer of our learning material between different medical faculties. In parallel, in cooperation with the University of Erfurt, a video-based Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is being developed to assess physician communication competence.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Martin Gartmeier, martin.gartmeier@tum.de


Prof. Dr. Martin Gartmeier, martin.gartmeier@tum.de



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