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1.  What are the most important tasks of tutors during the tutorials in hybrid problem-based learning curricula? 
BMC Medical Education  2015;15:84.
Background
In problem-based learning, a tutor, the quality of the problems and group functioning play a central role in stimulating student learning. This study is conducted in a hybrid medical curriculum where problem-based learning is one of the pedagogical approaches. The aim of this study was to examine which tutor tasks are the most important during the tutorial sessions and thus should be promoted in hybrid (and in maybe all) problem-based learning curricula in higher education.
Methods
A student (N = 333) questionnaire was used to obtain data about the problem-based learning process, combined with the achievement score of the students on a multiple-choice exam. Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of different models (two existing models and a new simplified model) representing the factors of interest and their relationships, in order to determine which tutor characteristics are the most important in the present study.
Results
A new simplified model is presented, which demonstrates that stimulation of active and self-directed learning by tutors enhances the perceived case quality and the perceived group functioning. There was no significant effect between the stimulation of collaborative learning and perceived group functioning. In addition, group functioning was not a significant predictor for achievement.
Conclusions
We found that stimulating active and self-directed learning are perceived as tutors’ most important tasks with regard to perceived case quality and group functioning. It is necessary to train and teach tutors how they can stimulate active and self-directed learning by students.
doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0368-4
PMCID: PMC4429827  PMID: 25943429
Problem-based learning; Tutor roles
2.  Assessing basic life support skills without an instructor: is it possible? 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:58.
Background
Current methods to assess Basic Life Support skills (BLS; chest compressions and ventilations) require the presence of an instructor. This is time-consuming and comports instructor bias. Since BLS skills testing is a routine activity, it is potentially suitable for automation. We developed a fully automated BLS testing station without instructor by using innovative software linked to a training manikin. The goal of our study was to investigate the feasibility of adequate testing (effectiveness) within the shortest period of time (efficiency).
Methods
As part of a randomised controlled trial investigating different compression depth training strategies, 184 medicine students received an individual appointment for a retention test six months after training. An interactive FlashTM (Adobe Systems Inc., USA) user interface was developed, to guide the students through the testing procedure after login, while Skills StationTM software (Laerdal Medical, Norway) automatically recorded compressions and ventilations and their duration (“time on task”). In a subgroup of 29 students the room entrance and exit time was registered to assess efficiency. To obtain a qualitative insight of the effectiveness, student’s perceptions about the instructional organisation and about the usability of the fully automated testing station were surveyed.
Results
During testing there was incomplete data registration in two students and one student performed compressions only. The average time on task for the remaining 181 students was three minutes (SD 0.5). In the subgroup, the average overall time spent in the testing station was 7.5 minutes (SD 1.4). Mean scores were 5.3/6 (SD 0.5, range 4.0-6.0) for instructional organisation and 5.0/6 (SD 0.61, range 3.1-6.0) for usability. Students highly appreciated the automated testing procedure.
Conclusions
Our automated testing station was an effective and efficient method to assess BLS skills in medicine students. Instructional organisation and usability were judged to be very good. This method enables future formative assessment and certification procedures to be carried out without instructor involvement.
Trial registration
B67020097543
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-58
PMCID: PMC3461425  PMID: 22824338
Automated testing; Basic Life Support; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Self-directed learning
3.  Using video-cases to assess student reflection: Development and validation of an instrument 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:22.
Background
Reflection is a meta-cognitive process, characterized by: 1. Awareness of self and the situation; 2. Critical analysis and understanding of both self and the situation; 3. Development of new perspectives to inform future actions. Assessors can only access reflections indirectly through learners’ verbal and/or written expressions. Being privy to the situation that triggered reflection could place reflective materials into context. Video-cases make that possible and, coupled with a scoring rubric, offer a reliable way of assessing reflection.
Methods
Fourth and fifth year undergraduate medical students were shown two interactive video-cases and asked to reflect on this experience, guided by six standard questions. The quality of students’ reflections were scored using a specially developed Student Assessment of Reflection Scoring rubric (StARS®). Reflection scores were analyzed concerning interrater reliability and ability to discriminate between students. Further, the intra-rater reliability and case specificity were estimated by means of a generalizability study with rating and case scenario as facets.
Results
Reflection scores of 270 students ranged widely and interrater reliability was acceptable (Krippendorff’s alpha = 0.88). The generalizability study suggested 3 or 4 cases were needed to obtain reliable ratings from 4th year students and ≥ 6 cases from 5th year students.
Conclusion
Use of StARS® to assess student reflections triggered by standardized video-cases had acceptable discriminative ability and reliability. We offer this practical method for assessing reflection summatively, and providing formative feedback in training situations.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-22
PMCID: PMC3426495  PMID: 22520632

Results 1-3 (3)