Monday, August 22, 2011

Medicles - Bitesize Self-Assessment in Medicine

Medicles is a great website for medical students, intended to provide short, clinically relevant self-assessment tests and tutorials. They are a growing community of users, all submitting and sharing their own content, tracking their scores, and identifying areas of weakness to work on. Medicles aims to make the painful process of exam revision simpler, quicker, and perhaps even a bit more fun! 

Medicles was founded in 2009 by two students from Bristol Medical School. They felt that there was a gap in the market for short but structured revision sites for medical students.

While full-length tutorials are great for learning concepts from scratch, they are time consuming and therefore not great for covering large amounts of territory quickly (such as when revising or recapping). At the other end of the scale, many sites offer MCQs, which while they are quick, lack any comprehensive teaching or explanation (plus there's always that temptation to guess!).

With Medicles, they're trying to fill the void between these two resource types by providing focused, clinically-relevant, assessments which won't take all day, but cover the key points. Best of all they're doing it for FREE.

Each assessment on Medicles is designed to teach a very specific subtopic in less than 15 minutes. To avoid the temptation of guessing that arises with multiple choice, assessments take the form of short-answer questions. These are then marked as you go, allowing you to rethink incorrect answers, rather than simply being told you're wrong, and what the correct answer was.

Possibly the most important feature of an assessment, though, is the teaching that accompanies it. Every answer (where appropriate) comes with an explanation as to why it is correct, and every assessment as a whole features both introductory and concluding teaching remarks and tips to really solidify the material.

If you want to save or print the material for later, every Medicle can be viewed as a summary pdf file, to put in your notes.

One of the best things about being a medical student is that everyone has slightly different knowledge and experience, and can teach it to their peers. At Medicles, they're opening up assessment creation to all our users...anyone can sign in and turn their idea into a great assessment to share with the rest of the community.

Their tutorial creation software is flexible and really, really easy to use. Even better, it requires no computer know-how - simply log in and get designing.

All their content is peer-reviewed by a team of both students and doctors, ensuring everything is factually accurate. This means that a submission doesn't necessarily equal a published assessment, but if it's well thought out and relevant to the average medic, there shouldn't be a problem!

Let's embrace the idea that students should get more involved in co-creating content with lecturers... Why not?

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