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Development of a Computer-Based Aid for Evaluation of a Student Performance

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Randy Wax, left, demonstrates human simulation to medical students.

Development of a Computer-Based Aid for Evaluation of a Student Performance will produce an automated process to evaluate and give feedback to medical students learning acute care skills in the Human Simulator Facility, a multimedia, lifelike simulation of patient contact.  About 150 third-year medical students take Critical Care Medicine each year.  Paul Rogers, project director, says that enhancing the nature and timing of feedback to students is expected to improve student performance when caring for actual patients in life-threatening situations.

The proposal will allow electronic integration of on-line instructor evaluations of student performance with computerized records of simulated physiological data and student interventions.  Digital video footage of critical moments of student performance will be integrated with this information.  The result will be an immediate and detailed report of student performance for feedback and debriefing after simulated patient cases.

Few centers in the world use simulator technology to teach Critical Care Medicine, according to Rogers.  Pitt has a unique combination of expertise in education, simulator technology, and computer technology to develop this adjunct to teaching.  Feedback to students, enhanced by new developments in computer and digital video technology, will be multisensory.  Rather than reviewing videotapes of student performance to assess whether they achieved behavioral objectives, instructors will be able to provide instant, detailed, printed feedback.  Also, an electronic data base of student performance will facilitate continuous curriculum evaluation and improvement.

The technology can be applied to other areas within the medical school that use performance-based assessment, which is becoming an important improvement to evaluative strategies within the School of Medicine.

Rogers is director of the multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program.  Co-directors are Randy S. Wax, senior fellow, and Michael R. Pinsky, director of research.  All three are with the School of Medicine’s Anesthesiology-Critical Care Medicine Program.


JULY 2000

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