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Posted by John Kleeman

Last week I wrote about presenting with Donald Thomson and David Walker from Dundee University about the use of Questionmark software for dental radiology exams. In the same session, we also discussed future possibilities for observational assessments to run online.
Like many other dental schools, Dundee University has students perform in practice while senior staff observe and rate them. These assessments are called OSCEs: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. So for instance, a student radiologist takes and interprets an X-ray, while being observed by an expert.
Here is an example of an existing paper OSCE form used at Dundee:

Existing paper-based OSCE form at Dundee Dental School

Here are some potential advantages of computerizing these observational assessments:

  • It saves time and money as there is no need to scan/transcribe
  • Results are online instantly
  • A computer manages the workflow and identification
  • Participants get feedback online
  • No lost bits of paper and no illegible medical handwriting!

The University of Dundee is considering the potential for using iPads to deliver OSCEs, and here is how the form might look on that type of device:

iPad example of observational assessment

Dundee has a long history of innovation. After all, the boat that took Scott to the Antarctic was built there!  It’s exciting to see the potential innovations that tablets and Questionmark assessment software might bring to the world of medical assessment. See the Questionmark website for more on observational assessments.