The possibilities of e-assessment in medical education

Daniel Bauer and Sebastian Schubert, both researchers from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of e-assessment in medical education.

[Please note – this video is in German. Scroll down for an overview in English]

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Daniel: I’m here to talk about advantages and disadvantages of e-assessment in medical education.

Sebastian: What is e-assessment and what characterizes electronic exams apart from the fact that they are done by computer?

Daniel: I don’t know, what are your ideas?

Sebastian: Well some e-learning tools are just as good as paper-based exams. Here there is an advantage for assessors, but nothing for students. The added value is if extra media for students is incorporated into the e-exams.

Daniel: You can also get more realistic patient cases on computers, and there’s the possibility of designing the programme so mistakes done once are not carried on throughout the entire exam.

Sebastian: I agree, but muliti-media exams take more time to design than plain paper cases.

Daniel: Yes, but there is also the possibility to make the tasks more realistic. For example, the identification of pathological finding on chest x-ray is more realistic on screen with interactive elements than it is on paper.

Sebastian: Sure. Some subjects might be more suitable for multi-media exams than others, radiology being a good example. They can only work if cases are developed in interdisciplinary teams.

Daniel. There is the possibility of applying all assessment in e-assessment format, for example free text – free text being much easier for markers than hand writing. With the development of better text recognition programs, electronic pre-marking by computer might be possible.

Sebastian: Summative assessment has many advantages, especially on the organisational and judicial side. But it is expensive. So we need to consider the financial resources before these ideas can be put into practice.

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