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Lessons learned: Migrating an innovative item type from paper to computer.

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Bovell D, Lipner RS. — American Board of Internal Medicine

Winkels C. — Pearson VUE

Presented: Association of Test Publishers Annual Meeting, February 2008

Abstract: The ABIM Cardiovascular Disease Certification Examination uses an innovative item type, known as the graphics section, to test interpretation of electrocardiograms and imaging studies. This item type more accurately reflects the real life diagnosis and treatment cardiologists face than single-best answer questions but it is challenging to display and score. Physicians first examine the accompanying illustration or video to identify any abnormalities then choose an answer from a static list of 43-96 answer options. Rather than restricting the option list to five choices, a broad spectrum of options that a cardiologist might include in an actual patient report are listed. Scoring uses rule-based logic and allows for partial credit. We addressed the process used to migrate the graphics section from paper to computer. Specifically, we considered the challenges of implementing motion images, the limitations of display screen size, and the obstacles encountered in developing the computer interface.

For more information about this presentation, please contact Research@abim.org.