Teaching medical humanities in medical schools with open education resources

Richard Bellis*, Jonathan Ives

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we will explore various ways in which open education resources might be utilised in the teaching of medical humanities in medical schools. Open education resources are generic open access materials in a particular field, which can be used by educators and students alike to support teaching and learning. They might be particularly useful when an institution lacks staff with specific expertise to teach essential but ‘minority’ subjects. The open and generic nature of these resources almost always means that they can be used flexibly to suit the teaching and learning contexts in which they are used. However, that same generic character means that they will be rarely directed towards specific learning outcomes, and therefore educators might struggle to fit them into teaching programmes, or have to alter their own learning outcomes and curricula in order to fit the resources available.

Here, we outline and reflect upon different ways we have used open access medical humanities materials developed by the ALCMAEON project to support teaching in UK medical programmes, the medical schools at the University of Bristol and University of St Andrews respectively. We begin by discussing the difficulties often encountered in teaching medical humanities in the crowded medical curriculum, before outlining what open education resources are and how they can help, with particular reference to the ALCMAEON project. We then outline and reflect on three different ways in which the ALCMAEON resources have been used to support teaching and learning with medical humanities, and consider the wider lessons we can draw from that experience about the use and development of open education resources to support learning and teaching of ‘minority’ subjects in medical curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching, research, innovation and public engagement
EditorsOurania Varsou
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031224522
ISBN (Print)9783031224515, 9783031224546
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023

Publication series

NameNew paradigms in healthcare
ISSN (Print)2731-3247
ISSN (Electronic)2731-3255


  • Open education resources
  • Medical humanities
  • Medical ethics
  • Medical curricula


Dive into the research topics of 'Teaching medical humanities in medical schools with open education resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this