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The PTM Consortium: How to become a partner?
Any medical faculty in Germany, Austria or Switzerland that wishes to use the PTM as a feedback method for students and professors or to evaluate its medical education and is interested in becoming a partner in this consortium is more than welcome to contact us.
The PTM can be used in many different ways:
- In the professional development of medical specialists, dentists, care professionals, midwives and/or physiotherapists.
- It can also be used in any training or educational program where factual knowledge is a major requirement (i.e. law school).
The team has profound experience concerning the concept, implementation, analysis and evaluation of this kind of longitudinal testing. Anyone that would like to develop a progress test in any field is invited to contact us.
From the Writing of Questions to the Realization of the PTM
All items are written by professors of the participating medical faculties. The major part is from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. A database is used for item management and test administration. For each test 200 questions are drawn randomly from this database according to a two-dimensional blueprint that follows both organ systems (e.g. urinary system) as well as traditional medical disciplines (e. g. surgery).
Review committees are in charge of evaluating all items in terms of formal accuracy and content. The committee is constituted by professors of different departments and chaired by students. After finishing up the review process the test is ready to be carried out. Subsequently all testing data will be collected and evaluated in order to provide individual results for each student as well as feedback for the faculties and item-authors.
History: the Development of the PTM in Maastricht
The Medicine Faculty of the University of Maastricht was founded in 1974 as the first Dutch faculty that used reformed teaching. This faculty focused on problem-oriented studying as the central type of teaching.
This meant that a shift towards a much more open and transparent learning process was taking place- which was regarded with some scepticism. That is why it was important to document and check the learning progress of the students in a convincing manner.
It became evident, that the introduction of the extensive exams that the students had to take devaluated the problem-oriented studying process as the students were focusing mainly on meeting the requirements of the exams. The Progress Test was developed to solve these problems.
The test is built on the principle of contingency whereas the permanent elements are not based on the different clinical subjects but rather according to the different organ systems. The questions in the test are classified according to this pattern. The content of the test, even though meaningful is not very predictable, making it harder to prepare for. Using questions from previous exams as preparation for the test is no longer possible. The progress test does not influence the curriculum. In Maastricht, the results from the progress tests determine whether the students are allowed to continue their studies in the following term.
Research – Progress Test Medicine
As the effectiveness of medicine should be investigated, the teaching programm of medical students should be evidence based. Lately we investigated the PTM and other modes of examinations which include muliple choice questions.