Another reason to computerize tests: better high-res images

Posted by John Kleeman

Last week I co-presented at the eLearning in Health Conference 2011 with Dr Donald Thomson (Consultant in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiography) and Dr David Walker (Senior Learning Technologist) from Dundee University. Since the conference was sold out and there was a lot of interest in our story, I thought I’d share it here.

The University of Dundee is an established user of Questionmark software and has been using Questionmark Perception for the delivery of dental radiology exams in place of pen and paper since 2009.

Dundee switched from paper to electronic exams for a number of reasons. Two obvious drivers were the desire to remove subjectivity in scoring and to reduce time spent marking in order to provide greater support to students. Another was that with on-screen delivery, radiology pictures can be faithfully represented on computers.

For example, this is a line drawing from a past paper exam:

Line drawing used in paper exam

And here is a real radiology picture that’s been displayed in a computerized exam. It’s easy to read something like this on-screen but quite difficult to do so on ordinary paper.

Real radiology photo

Below is a summary of Dundee’s experience using Questionmark to deliver electronic exams in Dental Radiology:

  • Initial time to convert questions to format suitable for electronic delivery is significant – support from learning technology professionals crucial.
  • Significant time saved marking papers with ability to return results to students more quickly.
  • Question types needed adjusting – free text and drawing questions needed to be redesigned but drag-and-drop questions offered new possibilities.
  • Initial concerns were raised regarding comparability of test difficulty between paper/electronic formats but analysis of student performance and question statistics information provided by Questionmark indicates that the exams are fair/reliable.
  • Electronic delivery has allowed for simultaneous presentation of exams at different locations, in this case for Dental students undertaking a degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Now that knowledge exams are successfully computerized, the University of Dundee is exploring the potential of electronic observational exams (OSCEs).  I’ll talk about the possibilities in a follow-up post next week.

Podcast: Dental Education at the University of Maryland


Posted by Joan Phaup

I spoke recently with Professor James Craig and Instructional Technology Specialist Sarita Sanjoy from the University of Maryland Dental School  about the school’s move to a new building and the innovative uses of technology the move has brought to to all aspects of the dental program. On the academic side, this has included implementing the use of Sonic Foundry Mediasite, which the school uses to capture lectures in order to make content available to students 24/7.

We talked about how the school uses Questionmark Perception together with Blackboard and the many lessons Sarita and James have learned about effective security measures, the use of assessment analytics to improve instruction and testing, and supportive ways to train faculty for preparing electronic assessments, among other topics. I hope you will enjoy and share this podcast!

Erik Christensen photo: Wikimedia Commons