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Glossary of Medical Terms
An educational system in which the teacher dictates what is being taught and how it is to be learned. The teacher is the central or key figure and activities such as the formal lecture and the formal laboratory are emphasized. Individual students have little control over what they learn, the order in which they learn and the methods they must use. In this approach, learning is rather more passive than active. It is the opposite of the learner-centered approach.
The application of communications technologies for the provision of health care services (diagnosis, treatment, prevention of diseases and injuries) over spatial distance in a situation where remoteness and/or availability of professional expertise is a critical factor.
A method of assessment that is required when validity cannot be achieved with the use of a single assessment tool. If multiple testing methods are used to evaluate a single competence, one can be more certain that the competency has been appropriately assessed.
True-False Items Exam
An exam presenting statements for which students are to choose one of two alternatives, true or false. There are three general weaknesses of this testing method which need to be recognized: a high level of correct responses by chance, ambiguities regarding statements' truth status and varying criteria for marking a statement "true." However, there are methods for addressing each problem:
First, because of the binary option, the formal chance level of responding correctly is 50%. The high rate of guessing correctly means that a relatively large number of true-false items are needed to allow for reasonable identification of above-chance performance.
Second, the truth of some statements might be ambiguous, subject to interpretation or dependent on subtle aspects of the statement. To minimize such problems, instructors should keep test statements as clear-cut as possible.
A third problem concerns individual differences in criterion for judging a statement "true" or "false." Students have varying degrees of confidence that statements are true, so that two students having the same feeling of "degree of truth" about a statement, e.g. "85% true," might well use different criteria, with one marking the statement "true" and the other "false." To provide for maximum discrimination, the test should be constructed so that 50% of the statements are true and students instructed to mark "true" the 50% of statements that seem the most true to them.
An important advantage of this exam is that true-false items are easy to construct, easy to score and can cover any sort of content.