ERIC Number: ED402339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
An Investigation of the Difficulty of Computer-Based Case Simulations.
Scheuneman, Janice Dowd; And Others
This study investigated the characteristics of Computer-based Case Simulations (CCS) that may be associated with case difficulty. Difficulty was defined as the average rating by physicians of examinee performance on a nine-point scale or the passing rate on the cases. Two data sets were used, one from an administration of 18 cases to 201 medical students, and the other from an administration of 22 cases to 117 students, with 13 cases being used on both occasions. Stepwise regression procedures were used separately for case properties and for analytic scoring key variables to identify the best predictors of case difficulty. Because of the small number of cases, regression results were evaluated for consistency across both data sets and both difficulty measures. For key variables, the best set of predictors included the number of different serious errors of commission, risk actions, and beneficial actions. In general, cases were more difficult for higher values of these variables. For case variables, the only consistent variable was the length of the paragraph that provided patient history, with longer paragraphs associated with more difficult cases. Other variables were less consistent, but were often related to the structure of the simulation or the severity of the patient condition. Although the findings for case variables were limited, the analyses were very helpful in illuminating the interconnections among the variables within cases. (Contains 7 tables and 15 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (New York, NY, April 9-11, 1996).