At a Glance


  • Health science

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • 101-110: Introduction to Pathophysiology for Paramedic Care Students

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Analyzing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • myDalite questions were used as a follow-up homework activity to reinforce the biological rationale behind the different etiologies and clinical manifestations across the COPD conditions

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Inclusivity & Accessibility

  • Variety of action & expression

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building


The aim of this activity is to apply pathophysiology knowledge of COPD conditions through a clinical lens.

Students answer typical pathophysiology questions about a fictional patient they construct, and must then practice completing a Patient Care Report for their patient. The intention of having students create the case is to reinforce understanding of the relationship between pathophysiological elements and a typical clinical presentation.

The analytic elements come in when they are required to complete a Patient Care Report for their patient, with enough distinguishing information and detail that others would be able to diagnose the patient from their reports.

The goal of the activity is for students to link clinical presentation of a patient to the underlying pathophysiology. This is a multi-stage graded assignment that requires students to integrate various elements from other program-specific course materials.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the pathogenesis of clinical manifestations that present in COPD
  • Differentiate between the clinical presentation of patients with asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Link specific risk factors in a patient medical history to COPD conditions, and explain the pathogenesis of these risk factors

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

  • Students must compare and contrast similar disease pathologies, highlighting their key differences to aid in a differential diagnosis
  • This activity helps students to more overtly recognize the links between their biology and health-care clinical learning objectives
  • Students can get easily distracted in working on patient details that are unrelated to the COPD condition; while some creativity in creating links between patient history and clinical presentation is valuable, the teacher may need to re-focus some group discussions.
  • The time students need to complete the original patient profile needs to be careful managed if you intend to have enough time remaining to trade patients and have the groups reverse-diagnose that patient off of their clinical documentation.
  • Carefully select which components of the clinical documenting you will be evaluating for the activity – it does not need to include all elements, the evaluation can be more tailored to the course content or to instructor familiarity and comfort as clinical documentation if clinical documentation is outside of your expertise or comfort-level
  • Be clear with students on which aspects of clinical documentation are most relevant to your learning objectives; in Biology courses this is rarely the treatment protocols but is more often the clinical manifestations and pathophysiological consequences from the loss of homeostasis
  • If preferred, teachers could use a jigsaw-approach here and exchange members between groups to have them explain their process to each other.

Applied Strategies