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Keywords:

  • gross anatomy;
  • medical education;
  • computers in anatomical education;
  • practical examination

Abstract

At the Medical College of Wisconsin, a procedure was developed to allow computerized grading and grade reporting of laboratory practical examinations in the Clinical Human Anatomy course. At the start of the course, first year medical students were given four Lists of Structures. On these lists, numbered items were arranged alphabetically; the items were anatomical structures that could be tagged on a given lab practical examination. Each lab exam featured an anatomy laboratory component and a computer laboratory component. For the anatomy lab component, students moved from one question station to another at timed intervals and identified tagged anatomical structures. As students identified a tagged structure, they referred to a copy of the list (provided with their answer sheet) and wrote the number corresponding to the structure on their answer sheet. Immediately after the anatomy lab component, students were escorted to a computer instruction laboratory where they typed their answer numbers into a secured testing component of a learning management system that recorded their answers for automatic grading. After a brief review of examination scores and item analysis by faculty, exam scores were reported to students electronically. Adding this brief computer component to each lab exam greatly reduced faculty grading time, reduced grading errors and provided faster performance feedback for students without changing overall student performance. Anat Sci Ed 1:220–223, 2008. © 2008 American Association of Anatomists.