A powerful tool for medical schools

It is a validated standardized approach for formative assessment of clinical reasoning skills at the undergraduate level. Medical schools have the option to use the same methodology as a continuum,for summative purposes.

It may help identify at an early stage those students with knowledge gaps and poor judgement, providing valuable feedback for instructors, clerkship directors and academic authorities to improve curricular development.

It helps teaching staff save time and resources in preparing lectures, clinical cases, and materials for formative purposes. The summative approach is endorsed by a solid psychometric report.

It provides a very friendly digital solution to optimize the discussion of clinical cases, both in class and remotely, supporting active learning and helping improve student retention.

It reinforces learning among students in clinical rotations by offering genuine challenges of real-world practice to prepare them for the clinical stage.

2 extra solutions for medical educators

Practicum Mentoring: debriefing

Real-time data to facilitate the debriefing of clinical cases on-site or remotely. The mentor can review the entire case and check his group results before the discussion session. He can then expose his students' decisions, compare them with those of the experts and run debate sessions using key questions presented in sequential didactic order. Practicum Mentoring explores the critical aspects of the simulated experience by providing a technological solution that complements individual self-learning with peer learning and mentor guidance.

  • Error deconstruction: students focus on their knowledge gaps and improve their critical judgment, while the mentor explores the significance of the errors, helping the students learn from their mistakes.
  • Maieutics: the mentor poses a series of key questions in order to elicit knowledge and the ideas emerging in hypothesis formulation and decision-making in clinical scenarios.
  • Swapping: with Practicum Mentoring, mentors save time preparing materials – instead of preparing lectures – using a very flexible and solid guide that challenges students to become actively involved in their own learning.

Practicum Analytics: monitoring

Group and individual indicators show the levels of activity and academic performance of the students throughout the entire training cycle, allowing progress monitoring and adaptive learning. The teaching team can identify when students take longer to progress through a given topic, skip topics that cover information already known, or repeat topics in which they need more help. Quick access to analytics and easy consultation 24/7. Valuable educational insights.

  • Real-time metrics enable educators to support students by providing earlier interventions and monitor the students' engagement to different topics across the course.
  • Allows mentors to review how students performed in different cases according to their specific scores and analyse their actions in detail to track settings, types of decision and thematic areas in which additional learning is desirable.
  • Highlights aggregated stats on the strengths and weaknesses of each cohort of students.

How to implement Practicum Script

For formative purposes

1

For final year medical students, as an assessment-for-learning tool aimed at fostering clinical reasoning skills during clinical rotations.

Longitudinal formative assessment is impactful in terms of learning efficacy and academic performance. Our proposal is to complement clinical rotations of final year medical students with virtual challenges based on real clinical cases. The point is to reinforce what the students already experience at the hospital so they can learn about common clinical presentations, diseases entities, key diagnostic studies, and procedures. Each case offers consistently organized content with useful documentation and clinical pearls that deliver savvy pointers by experts.

2

As a progressive training tool to be applied in the final three years of the medical education, with an adapted proposal for each academic year.

This approach is also a longitudinal assessment strategy that promotes meaningful learning — in this case, all along the clinical cycle — to emphasize how the student should think from an early stage. This progressive approach with increasing complexity leads, medical students to put into practice knowledge acquired in their basic medical education cycle, enabling them to make better autonomous decisions while gathering clinical experience for future practice. Students face real-life scenarios adapted to the course of the clinical cycle that they are attending (e.g., Y4, Y5 and Y6 in most European countries). Local customization of the progressive training plan is possible. Medical schools can select specific cases, number of cases delivered per course, releasing frequency, among other options.

Mixed modality (formative & summative)

This modality applies to final year medical students. It consists of a formative assessment cycle followed by a summative assessment exam at the end of the course. During the training experience, students become familiar with the Practicum Script methodology. They have access to a clinical debate forum and a digital portfolio to review their answers. The summative test, in turn, is focused on different cases selected by the university, which are presented to the students as a 2–3-hour online test to be taken independently (without feedback).

Most universities are integrating Practicum Script into their OSCE. This solution allows medical schools to save time and costs preparing this final exam and benefit from a well-validated model assessing clinical reasoning skills. The test can be done on-site or remotely.

A psychometric analysis of individual results from each student is carried out by a professional team from the European Board of Medical Assessors and the University of Maastricht, which collaborate with the Practicum Foundation. The reports for the medical schools include:

  • Individual subscores in hypotheses formulation, hypotheses argumentation, and decision-making in clinical scenarios, in addition to an integrated summative score (10 points scale) for each student.
  • Standard settings (marks for pass/fail/good grades).
  • Methods and tests used for the statistical analysis.

Subscription features

Features Package
Website and email marketing for registration and follow-up campaigns
20 real clinical cases with 100 clinical scenarios
License for 1 academic year – special advantages for licenses with duration ≥ 3 years
Adapted proposal for the entire clinical cycle
Methodological tutor
Clinical debate forum
Free of charge subscription to the clinical forum for one or more tutors
App version (Google Play and Apple Store)
Online certificate for students
Technical support 24/7 – Script Connect
All upgrades included (possible software implementations)
Infrastructure, server, and firewall included
Data encrypted at rest and in motion
Practicum Mentoring and Practicum Analytics
Automatic tracking of activity level
Option of summative exam for final year medical students and scoring report
Guide and support for the implementation of the programme