An international, case-based, distance-learning collaboration between the UK and Somaliland using a real-time clinical education website
We established a medical education website to deliver real-time, clinical case-based education to sites in Somaliland from the UK. The website was based on a web 2.0 social networking concept in order to recreate, as nearly as possible, the clinical bedside teaching experience. A survey showed that medical students in Somaliland had sufficient computer access to exploit the website. Teaching began in December 2008 and the teaching programme has developed into a regular weekly teaching session involving up to seven different student groups in Somaliland at different locations. As well as north-south teaching, the website has been employed to support a study module in London. Small groups of UK-based medical students have been partnered with intern tutors in Somaliland. Forty UK students have taken part in this teaching, which is now in its second year. Feedback from those involved has demonstrated that a collaboration in which both north-south and south-north teaching occurs can strengthen partnerships in which both parties contribute and benefit.