Formative Assessment Feedback

I’ve spent the last hour or so trying to tease out some useful information from the formative assessment results.  It’s not straightforward.  What is clear is that I need to change the format of the questions to make them

  1. Fairer to you lot
  2. Easier to analyse
  3. Fewer in number – I see that the individual questions we sent in to main campus were originally 10 in number, but the separate parts were split into multiple questions, so the number went up to 22.
  4. Clearer instructions

You wanted some feedback about what the answers actually are, and that seems fair enough. So here’s one of my questions, with the answer and a *brief* explanation.

1.  Your patient has dullness to percussion in the right apex, crepitations in the right apex with bronchial breathing and a right sided Horner’s syndrome.  Which of the following diagnoses are likely?  (Click all that apply)

  1. Right sided pleural effusion (No – effusions are basal, not apical)
  2. Asbestosis (No – asbestosis is a basal fibrosis, not apical)
  3. Pancoast’s tumour of the lung (Yes – the most likely diagnosis)
  4. Pulmonary tuberculosis (Yes – TB may compress the sympathetic chain, although this is far less common than in malignancy)
  5. Pulmonary embolus (No – this most often gives little, or no physical signs)

Hopefully this kind of thing is helpful?.  Now questions for you:

  • Would you like this kind of immediate feedback in the future formative assessments?
  • Would you like me to post up the answers to week 1 formative assessment in a similar format?
  • Has anyone got anything positive to say about the block so far – I’m reaching for the Prozac after today’s feedback!

I cannot believe how many of you put down breathlessness as a sign of pleural effusion.  I’m sure I mentioned in the lecture, once or twice, that breathlessness is a symptom…..  Sigh.

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2 Comments on “Formative Assessment Feedback”

  1. Niall Woodley Says:

    The immediate feedback and a short explanation of why the answers are wrong are right are a great addition to the system, especially immediately after you answer the question – your thought process is still fresh in your mind. I always find that when I do all the questions in a one-er and then get all the answers at the same time, I forget what I was thinking at the time of answering the question in the first place.

    If you could post up the answers to the week one formative like that, I think it would be really helpful – for me at least.

    Positive feedback: I don’t have any negative feedback?

    p.s. I wouldn’t have gotten that sample question right…

  2. Joe Renucci Says:

    niall said it all. To be taken through in baby steps why each option is or isnt right is very very useful.


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