Development and evaluation of a computer program to grade student performance on peripheral blood smears
Donald Clifford Lehman, University of Delaware, United States
University of Delaware . Awarded
Today's medical laboratories are dealing with cost containment health care policies and unfilled laboratory positions. Because there may be fewer experienced clinical laboratory scientists, students graduating from clinical laboratory science (CLS) programs are expected by their employers to perform accurately in entry-level positions with minimal training. Information in the CLS field is increasing at a dramatic rate, and instructors are expected to teach more content in the same amount of time with the same resources. With this increase in teaching obligations, instructors could use a tool to facilitate grading. The research question was, “Can computer-assisted assessment evaluate students in an accurate and time efficient way?”
A computer program was developed to assess CLS students' ability to evaluate peripheral blood smears. Automated grading permits students to get results quicker and allows the laboratory instructor to devote less time to grading. This computer program could improve instruction by providing more time to students and instructors for other activities. To be valuable, the program should provide the same quality of grading as the instructor. These benefits must outweigh potential problems such as the time necessary to develop and maintain the program, monitoring of student progress by the instructor, and the financial cost of the computer software and hardware.
In this study, surveys of students and an interview with the laboratory instructor were performed to provide a formative evaluation of the computer program. In addition, the grading accuracy of the computer program was examined. These results will be used to improve the program for use in future courses.
Lehman, D.C. Development and evaluation of a computer program to grade student performance on peripheral blood smears. Ph.D. thesis, University of Delaware.
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