Journal: International Journal of Medical Education (IJME) Author: Minder SP, Weibel D, Wissmath B, Schmitz FM. Publication Date: Nov 2018 Volume Number: 19 Issue: 9 Page Numbers: 293
Description: Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
The present study aimed to examine whether medical students benefit from an open-book online formative assessment as a preparation for a practical course.

METHODS:
A between-subjects experimental design was used: participants - a whole cohort of second-year medical students (N=232) - were randomly assigned to either a formative assessment that covered the topic of a subsequent practical course (treatment condition) or a formative assessment that did not cover the topic of the subsequent course (control condition). Course-script-knowledge, as well as additional in-depth-knowledge, was assessed.

RESULTS:
Students in the treatment condition had better course-script knowledge, both at the beginning, t(212) = 4.96, p < .01, d = 0.72., and in the end of the practical course , t(208) = 4.80, p < .01, d = 0.68. Analyses of covariance show that this effect is stronger for those students who understood the feedback that was presented within the formative assessment, F(1, 213)=10.17, p<.01. Additionally, the gain of in-depth-knowledge was significantly higher for students in the treatment condition compared to students in the control condition, t(208) = 3.68., p < .05, d = 0.72 (0.51).

CONCLUSIONS:
Students benefit from a formative assessment that is related to and takes place before a subsequent practical course. They have a better understanding of the topic and gain more in-depth-knowledge that goes beyond the content of the script. Moreover, the study points out the importance of feedback pages in formative assessments.Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
The present study aimed to examine whether medical students benefit from an open-book online formative assessment as a preparation for a practical course.

METHODS:
A between-subjects experimental design was used: participants - a whole cohort of second-year medical students (N=232) - were randomly assigned to either a formative assessment that covered the topic of a subsequent practical course (treatment condition) or a formative assessment that did not cover the topic of the subsequent course (control condition). Course-script-knowledge, as well as additional in-depth-knowledge, was assessed.

RESULTS:
Students in the treatment condition had better course-script knowledge, both at the beginning, t(212) = 4.96, p < .01, d = 0.72., and in the end of the practical course , t(208) = 4.80, p < .01, d = 0.68. Analyses of covariance show that this effect is stronger for those students who understood the feedback that was presented within the formative assessment, F(1, 213)=10.17, p<.01. Additionally, the gain of in-depth-knowledge was significantly higher for students in the treatment condition compared to students in the control condition, t(208) = 3.68., p < .05, d = 0.72 (0.51).

CONCLUSIONS:
Students benefit from a formative assessment that is related to and takes place before a subsequent practical course. They have a better understanding of the topic and gain more in-depth-knowledge that goes beyond the content of the script. Moreover, the study points out the importance of feedback pages in formative assessments.
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