At a Glance


  • Health science

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Interventions in vascular and respiratory conditions 144-551 DW

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Writing
  • Analyzing
  • Reviewing & assessing peers
  • Gaming & role-playing
  • Other

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Online collaborative platform (Google Docs or Teams)

Class size

  • Very small (< 20)
  • Small (20-49)


  • Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Consolidation & metacognition


The aim of this activity is to apply pathophysiology knowledge to a clinical context, helping students construct a holistic understanding of their future clients in various contexts. It provides opportunity for more authentic, contextualized practice of procedural skills and for students to develop empathy for their future clients. Can be combined with the reverse case activity where students play the role of the client they have created themselves for a deeper experience, or using teacher created cases and simulations for a simpler/shorter lab experience. I have used the second variety for a cross-course lab simulation where nursing students played the role of the client with my physiotherapy technology students, which adds an interprofessional education element to the activity for all students involved.

This activity can be done individually or be paired with DIY case building: Reverse cases for lung pathologies and Rough draft workshop: group peer assessment jigsaw activity for case study or procedural writing.

Instructional Objectives

  1. Students will translate physiological knowledge to a typical clinical presentation.
  2. Students will create an intervention plan according to professional scope of practice based on a client presentation and problem list/objectives.
  3. Students will perform complete data collection and play the role of a patient in order for a colleague to do the same.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes


Improves treatment planning abilities (analytic/evaluative) through peer modeling, helps students integrate knowledge into holistic understanding of a client, sequence procedures in an organized way, and practice soft skills simultaneously with procedural tasks, provides more realistic context for data collection practice (situational learning in authentic situations). Allows students to take on a higher level of autonomy than would be permitted in clinical settings at the same level.


Authenticity of “client” and role playing in final lab activity is variable depending on student group. Providing props and prep time and guidance is helpful, however, the most success has been using student volunteers from other programs and simulation cart equipment to distance the teacher from the students performing the tasks.


Use with students who have real clinical experience, & props and “coaching for authenticity” help! Note: can be combined with Reverse case study activity – this helps with authenticity, because students are playing the role of a “character” they created themselves, so they know the case well and have an easier time preparing and getting into character. Note: the author plans to explore the used of a guided open-ended debriefing tool such as the “PEARLs” method (see citations) after the simulated activities instead of peer evaluation forms used in prior years. This is to help with the effectiveness of achieving learning outcomes in concordance with challenges observed with traditional peer feedback methods and to be more in line with current best practices.

Applied Strategies

Related Activities

Health science

DIY Case Building: Reverse Cases for Lung Pathologies

Students build a client "chart" based on a set of basic pathophysiology and contextual elements

Health science

Rough Draft Workshop: Group Peer Assessment Jigsaw Activity for Case Study or Procedural Writing

Students bring a rough draft of a written group project for peer evaluation and feedback