UNBC Researcher To Share Work With International Audience
By 250 News
Prince George, B.C. - A researcher in the University of Northern BC's Northern Medical Program is off to a medical conference in Colorado later this week to present her work looking to explain differences in medical educators' judgements of student performance.
Andrea Gingerich's paper was published in the most recent edition of the journal, 'Academic Medicine', and she's off to Denver to give the only review paper presentation at the American Association of Medical College's conference.
Gingerich says, "In medical education, students need to both 'show it' and 'know it'." Her research examines this "rater-based" testing in an effort to explain why different educators may come away with different assessments.
She points to a figure skating competition as an example of a rater-based system. "Why do five experts in their field look at the same performance and come up with differing assessments?" asks Gingerich.
"The rater-based assessment is a fundamental way medical educators test the skills of students - even those applying for a medical license are subject to this testing," says the UNBC researcher. "The problem is that raters are asked to make subjective judgements, which leave them open to charges of bias." One rater's assessment of 'slow and deliberate' could be another's 'fearful and hesitant'.
Gingerich is looking at the cognitive processes involved in how humans tend to categorize. "If we understood (these) processes better, we could design an assessment system that takes better advantage of the way people think and address our limitations."
"It may be that our rating systems right now don't fit the way humans actually think and could use some improvement."
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