On-line clinical examinations now a possibility at the College of Medicine

In an earlier post we reported on the generous support of Scottish Government International Development which allowed the purchase of digital devices to allow students at the University of Malawi College of Medicine to participate in remote on-line learning.

We were subsequently contacted by Dr Emma Thomson, the Director of the College of Medicine Education and Training Office, to ask whether we had any experience of delivering clinical examinations using on-line platforms. At Glasgow Dental School we have been very fortunate that a small team of academic staff has perfected a method for running Virtual Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (VOSCEs) via the on-line platform Zoom.

Recently my three colleagues James Donn, Alun Scott and Craig Mather delivered an excellent presentation for Emma, which demonstrated the methods they have developed. In addition to the VOSCE format, they also gave a demonstration of how the same on-line platform has been used recently to run the Case Presentation examination for our Fourth Year BDS students.

James Donn, Alun Scott, Craig Mather, Emma Thomson and I enjoying some informal conversation at the end of the presentation

The presentation was recorded and the video file made available to Emma so that she can share it with Prof Nyengo Mkandawire, the Dean of Medicine, and with other interested colleagues in Malawi.

Sharing ideas and novel methods for teaching and assessment during the COVID-19 era are an essential part of life for all higher education institutions. The potential for delivery of on-line examinations also provides added value to the investment made by Scottish Government in the purchase of the digital devices. A great example of collaboration and innovation!

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