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CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT´S SKILLS IN A LABORATORY OF HAEMATOLOGY BY USING PERSONAL RESPONSE DEVICES

Assessing the students’ capacity of acquiring new skills is a pivotal objective in the current undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Seville. Here we present some results concerning the development of a Teaching Innovation Project funded by our university within the ‘Program for the Innovation & Improvement of Teaching’, which was carried out during 2010-2011 academic year. The project consisted in the setting up of a new assessment tool based upon the use of interactive personal response devices purchased from EduClick (www.educlick.com). Basically, the system allows the teachers to carry out a real-time assessment in the classroom by using a virtual Learning Platform (WebCT in our case) together with a personal response device distributed to each student. Once logged in the Learning Platform, an available Educlick module allows the students to respond to each questions of a pre-set test personally. At the end of the session, the results can be recorded in full detail and stored in the Learning Platform database. We have used this assessment tool in the practical training of the ‘Haematology’ course, which is located in the third year of the Pharmacy Degree course. At the end of each laboratory session, students (around 30 per group) were presented with different multi-choice questions related with the topics of that session. A general survey was also conducted in order to evaluate the students’ opinion on the use of these personal response devices. Our results show a satisfactory reception of this new assessment tool by the students. It seems that the use of personal response devices might promote the degree of attention in class and the capability of retention of newly acquired skills. Also, the rates of performance and success might be improved thanks to the use of an easy-to-use assessment method such as this one, for it allows a continuous assessment of students’ skills throughout the course.