The students summarized already published case studies in a wiki and then evaluated these.

Table of contents


Course title

"Clinical rotation poultry diseases"

Course typeCourse


Institute of Poultry Diseases, Veterinary Medicine

Degree program

Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Rüdiger Hauck

No. of participants

8 or 9 per group


Clinical rotation in the 9th or 10th study semester


Once on two days



During the clinical rotation the students of the 9th and 10th study semesters within veterinary medicine are split up into groups of eight or nine. In these groups they spend some consecutive time within various different clinics and institutes of the department of veterinary medicine. Two of these days are spent at the Institute of Poultry Diseases. During this time they are supposed to go practically more in-depth with that what they have learned in the past few semesters. At the Institute of Poultry Diseases this course encompasses the laboratory course on the first day in the morning, the post-mortem examination on the first day in the afternoon, the poultry ambulance in poultry stocks around Berlin on the second day in the morning and practical propaedeutics on the second day in the afternoon. During those times that the clinical rotation poultry diseases was supplemented by the blended learning element, the two days were usually two Wednesdays with an interval of one week. As the routines at the Institute of Poultry Diseases do not allow the accompaniment of current cases, the students were given the task of posting summaries and evaluations of published case reports between the two Wednesdays (Illustration 1).

Illustration 1: Schematic sequence of the clinical rotation at the Institute of Poultry Diseases

In this wiki four pages were prepared for every group in each of which a published case study from the journal "Avian Diseases" is interlinked. Through interlinking, the problems with copyright are avoided. In addition, on the pages a schemata was provided for the summary which was not mandatory, though (Illustration 2).      

Illustration 2: Example of a case study summary

In an e-mail sent out before the start of the rotation at the Institute of Poultry Diseases, the students were provided with the link to Vetipedia together with the request that they should register themselves here. On the first day of the rotation the task posed was explained to the students in approx. five minutes. The important points made was the necessity of calling up the article needed from the fee-based journals within the FU network and pointing out the edit button. In addition to this, on a wiki page all of the information can be found and re-read. The selection of cases was left up to the students; in addition, it was subsequently not asked who worked on which article in case all four cases were worked on. At the end of the rotation after one week the questions of the students that have come up were discussed and a feedback to the summaries was given. If necessary a re-working was requested.   

After the editing of the pages the cases were sorted thematically (Illustration 3).

Illustration 3: Vetipedia page with a list of worked-on cases

Experiences made by the lecturer

The students of veterinary medicine are in general used to drafting case studies. Working on cases within the realm of a blended learning concept was readily accepted by the students without any objections. Even though it was a very short technical introduction, there were no complaints by the students that they were not able to deal with the wiki technology. Quite often, though, there were problems with the registration so that the summaries were also sent out as an e-mail. Altogether 90 cases were worked on.  
As expected, quality and scope varied greatly whereas the scope, of course, also depended upon the original article. One request for a re-working was the exception. We also had the one-time problem that a student could not speak English.   
In summary, the blended learning element was a sensible supplement in order to get a feeling of how one should work on a case within the field of commercial poultry agriculture. In addition, a vaguely thematically ordered collection of case studies across avian medicine was created.    

Further information

Support offered by CeDiS

  • Consulting services for the implementation of digital solutions in teaching: The Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) has extensive experience of many years when it comes to the implementation of digital media and systems within the fields of teaching, learning and research. We offer a wide variety of consulting services on the implementation of these tools and systems within the entire academic scope and especially at Freie Universität Berlin. 
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers of other universities CeDiS offers training courses and workshops on the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These course enable participants to implement online elements within their own sphere of teaching.
  • The Executive Board of the Freie Universität supports e-learning initiatives: With the e-learning funding program financial resources are provided to lecturers that enrich and improve their courses quality-wise by implementing technological and media-related support. All of the academic staff teaching, the lecturers or even the institutions of the Freie Universität - without the Charité-Universitätsmedizin - can be supported within this program.