3,941 research outputs found

    A Randomized Trial Comparing Digital and Live Lecture Formats

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    Problem Statement and Background – Medical education is increasingly being conducted in community-based teaching sites making it difficult to provide a consistent curriculum. We conducted a randomized trial to assess whether digital lectures could replace live lectures. Methods – Students were randomized to either attending a lecture series at our main campus or viewing digital versions of the same lectures at community sites. Both groups completed an examination based on the lectures and the group viewing the digital lectures completed a feedback form. Results – The group who viewed the digital lectures performed slightly better than the live lecture group however the differences were not statistically significant. Despite technical problems the students who viewed the digital lectures overwhelmingly felt the digital lectures could replace live lectures. Conclusions – Digital lectures appear to be a viable alternative to live lectures as a means of delivering didactic presentations in a community-based setting

    Sources of Measurement Error in an ECG Examination: Implications for Performance-Based Assessments

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    Objective: To assess the sources of measurement error in an electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation examination given in a third-year internal medicine clerkship. Design: Three successive generalizability studies were conducted. 1) Multiple faculty rated student responses to a previously administered exam. 2) The rating criteria were revised and study 1 was repeated. 3) The examination was converted into an extended matching format including multiple cases with the same underlying cardiac problem. Results: The discrepancies among raters (main effects and interactions) were dwarfed by the error associated with case specificity. The largest source of the differences among raters was in rating student errors of commission rather than student errors of omission. Revisions in the rating criteria may have helped increase inter-rater reliability slightly however, due to case specificity, it had little impact on the overall reliability of the exam. The third study indicated the majority of the variability in student performance across cases was in performance across cases within the same type of cardiac problem rather than between different types of cardiac problems. Conclusions: Case specificity was the overwhelming source of measurement error. The variation among cases came mainly from discrepancies in performance between examples of the same cardiac problem rather than from differences in performance across different types of cardiac problems. This suggests it is necessary to include a large number of cases even if the goal is to assess performance on only a few types of cardiac problems

    Sources of Measurement Error in an ECG Examination: Implications for Performance-Based Assessments

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    Objective: To assess the sources of measurement error in an electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation examination given in a third-year internal medicine clerkship. Design: Three successive generalizability studies were conducted. 1) Multiple faculty rated student responses to a previously administered exam. 2) The rating criteria were revised and study 1 was repeated. 3) The examination was converted into an extended matching format including multiple cases with the same underlying cardiac problem. Results: The discrepancies among raters (main effects and interactions) were dwarfed by the error associated with case specificity. The largest source of the differences among raters was in rating student errors of commission rather than student errors of omission. Revisions in the rating criteria may have helped increase inter-rater reliability slightly however, due to case specificity, it had little impact on the overall reliability of the exam. The third study indicated the majority of the variability in student performance across cases was in performance across cases within the same type of cardiac problem rather than between different types of cardiac problems. Conclusions: Case specificity was the overwhelming source of measurement error. The variation among cases came mainly from discrepancies in performance between examples of the same cardiac problem rather than from differences in performance across different types of cardiac problems. This suggests it is necessary to include a large number of cases even if the goal is to assess performance on only a few types of cardiac problems

    Economic and Environmental Impacts of Cellulosic Feedstock Production in Minnesota

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    Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Production Economics,

    The Seasonal Cycle and Interannual Variability in Stratospheric Temperatures and Links to the Brewer–Dobson Circulation: An Analysis of MSU and SSU Data

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    Previous studies have shown that lower-stratosphere temperatures display a near-perfect cancellation between tropical and extratropical latitudes on both annual and interannual time scales. The out-of-phase relationship between tropical and high-latitude lower-stratospheric temperatures is a consequence of variability in the strength of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC). In this study, the signal of the BDC in stratospheric temperature variability is examined throughout the depth of the stratosphere using data from the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU). While the BDC has a seemingly modest signal in the annual cycle in zonal-mean temperatures in the mid- and upper stratosphere, it has a pronounced signal in the month-to-month and interannual variability. Tropical and extratropical temperatures are significantly negatively correlated in all SSU channels on interannual time scales, suggesting that variations in wave driving are a major factor controlling global-scale temperature variability not only in the lower stratosphere (as shown in previous studies), but also in the mid- and upper stratosphere. The out-of-phase relationship between tropical and high latitudes peaks at all levels during the cold-season months: December–March in the Northern Hemisphere and July–October in the Southern Hemisphere. In the upper stratosphere, the out-of-phase relationship with high-latitude temperatures extends beyond the tropics and well into the extratropics of the opposite hemisphere. The seasonal cycle in stratospheric temperatures follows the annual march of insolation at all levels and latitudes except in the mid- to upper tropical stratosphere, where it is dominated by the semiannual oscillation. M

    Fitting the Means to the Ends: One School’s Experience with Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Curriculum Evaluation During Curriculum Change

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    Curriculum evaluation plays an important role in substantive curriculum change. The experience of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) with evaluation processes developed for the new Integrated Medical Curriculum (IMC) illustrates how evaluation methods may be chosen to match the goals of the curriculum evaluation process. Quantitative data such as ratings of courses or scores on external exams are useful for comparing courses or assessing whether standards have been met. Qualitative data such as students’ comments about aspects of courses are useful for eliciting explanations of observed phenomena and describing relationships between curriculum features and outcomes. The curriculum evaluation process designed for the IMC used both types of evaluation methods in a complementary fashion. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been used for formative evaluation of the new IMC courses. They are now being incorporated into processes to judge the IMC against its goals and objectives

    Observed connections of Arctic stratospheric ozone extremes to Northern Hemisphere surface climate

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    We present observational evidence for linkages between extreme Arctic stratospheric ozone anomalies in March and Northern Hemisphere tropospheric climate in spring (March–April). Springs characterized by low Arctic ozone anomalies in March are associated with a stronger, colder polar vortex and circulation anomalies consistent with the positive polarity of the Northern Annular Mode/North Atlantic Oscillation in March and April. The associated spring tropospheric circulation anomalies indicate a poleward shift of zonal winds at 500 hPa over the North Atlantic. Furthermore, correlations between March Arctic ozone and March–April surface temperatures reveal certain regions where a surprisingly large fraction of the interannual variability in spring surface temperatures is associated with interannual variability in ozone. We also find that years with low March Arctic ozone in the stratosphere display surface maximum daily temperatures in March–April that are colder than normal over southeastern Europe and southern Asia, but warmer than normal over northern Asia, adding to the warming from increasing well-mixed greenhouse gases in those locations. The results shown here do not establish causality, but nevertheless suggest that March stratospheric ozone is a useful indicator of spring averaged (March–April) tropospheric climate in certain Northern Hemispheric regions.National Science Foundation (U.S.) (AGS-1539972
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