This article presents the findings of a field experiment in medical English with first-year medical students at the University of Pavia, Northern Italy. Working in groups of 8–10, the students were asked to produce a corpus of medical texts in English demonstrating how the human body is itself a meaningful text (Baldry and Thibault 2006: Ch. 1). The aim was to analyse language functions that express bodily processes in the overall context of multimodal meaning-making and multiliteracy skills (Fairclough 2000: 162–181). Students worked in teams, mostly online, in a co-operative manner, exchanging information, ideas and opinions while exploring medical texts about the human body from various perspectives. How could this be done in the short period of time that is typically reserved for English courses in medical degree courses in Italy, in our case 32 hours in the first year? Given that self-learning is part of the credits awarded, in this case four, the experimentation included using an online platform, LearnWeb, to promote teamwork in reflection on meaning-making, a focal point in this project. The article reports on the background and design of the research and presents an analysis of results, including a comparison of the results of two online questionnaires, the first of which was filled in by the students at the end of the course, the second by the same cohort a year later, both part of research into the longer-term effects on students’ overall learning strategies.