With Aquifer you can tell your busy teachers to relax–you’ve got the core content covered! Now they can do what they love best: teach about patients, observe students’ skills, provide useful feedback, and mentor students’ professional development.

Realizing the full value of Aquifer occurs when students blend their learning from our cases effectively into their foundational knowledge and clinical experiences. Your clinical faculty, community-based preceptors, didactic faculty, and teaching residents provide invaluable opportunities for this cognitive integration to occur.

Eight Great Tips for Teaching with Aquifer

We offer a variety of password-protected access options:

  • Student-level access: Includes card-by-card case navigation with a case summary provided upon case completion. All faculty, community preceptors, and residents who share your institutional email address may self-register for all of the courses to which your institution subscribes.
  • Teacher access: Includes open case navigation, access to the case summaries, and to the case search feature of the Aquifer website. Contact your institution’s Aquifer Program Service Administrator or Curriculum Administrator to authorize access.

Our case summaries provide an in-depth review of each case––the learning objectives, the differential and final diagnosis, and key teaching points. All of the summaries are available to registered instructors in the relevant Aquifer course. Encourage your faculty and residents to:

  • Familiarize themselves with the Aquifer cases that are common to their practice setting.
  • Incorporate relevant Aquifer case content into their didactic session.

Our site is optimized for mobile access, making teaching on-the-fly easy. Your teachers may quickly find relevant cases or case content through our powerful search feature found on the Courses page.

  • Website search (open to the public): Searches the Aquifer site for relevant content, including the virtual patient presenting problems. Preceptors and residents can encourage students to complete Aquifer cases just prior to or following clinical patient encounters.
  • Case search (available to registered instructors only): Searches the virtual patient cases themselves, identifying all relevant content and multimedia within the cases and case summaries. Preceptors and residents can dive into the cases at a moment’s notice, drawing immediately from the rich resources that the cases provide.

Encourage your clinical teachers to visit our Educators page and use our integration resources to:

  • Compare and contrast the presentation of Aquifer cases to students’ patients.
  • Draw from the wide array of available multimedia resources and Web links for use in their own teaching.
  • Employ the Aquifer clinical reasoning structure to frame and expand patient work-up and management discussions.
  • Use the case analysis tool to work through an Aquifer case together––or apply the tool to a challenging patient presentation.
  • Apply the Aquifer summary statement rubric to students’ real-time case presentations.

Residents can be unsure in their new teaching role. Remember––they probably completed the cases as students themselves! Now they have access to the instructor resources. Urge them to draw from the cases they found most useful, and to use Aquifer’s Educator Resources as a way to get started.

Clinics get busy. Admissions mount. Faculty and residents struggle to balance it all. Students worry about finishing this week’s cases. Problem solved! Increase your teacher and student satisfaction by letting them know it’s OK to give students some time to work on the cases when the day gets out of hand. How often is it that easy?!

Decrease lecture time and increase active learning in your course or clerkship when you integrate Aquifer content into faculty or resident teaching sessions.

  • Align required case completion with your course didactic sessions––and cut down the need for your faculty to lecture. Ask them to do a chalk talk instead: We guarantee the students will enjoy it a lot more.
  • Expand on Aquifer content about the competencies that are more effectively taught in face-to-face discussions, including communication skills, professionalism, cultural competency, and systems-based practice.
  • Create active learning sessions––such as team-based learning or flipped classroom sessions––that require students to problem-solve and apply lessons they have learned from working through the virtual cases.

Educators have reported a number of innovative methods for expanding on Aquifer content––taking student satisfaction and clinical learning to a higher level:

  • Clinical reasoning assignments: Create and solve new “what if” scenarios built off of our virtual patients.
  • Patient safety and quality improvement exercises: How would you measure the quality of the care received by an Aquifer patient?
  • High fidelity simulation exercises: Create scenarios that make our virtual patients take a turn for the worse.
  • Standardized patient sessions: What would happen if this Aquifer patient could talk?