Background: A previous study evaluated repeated, serial administrations of computer-based simulations. The data demonstrated an increase in scores across rotations during the academic year, but no difference between scores in successive years. Methods: The initial study only indirectly assessed the effect of information sharing on measured performance. To directly assess the effect of information transfer, 8 computer-based case simulations were administered over 2 consecutive years to 220 third-year students at the conclusion of 12 surgical clerkship rotations (6 per year). During the second year of administration information regarding content area, in the form of the case stem or introductory lead-in material, was provided to each rotation of students prior to the examination based on a sequential algorithm. Results: The data demonstrate no increase in overall mean score for the examination over the 2 years. Scores were significantly different for 2 of the 8 cases, increasing in the one and decreasing in the other. Conclusions: The data demonstrate no evidence that prior knowledge of content area influences the scores of successive classes on computerized models of performance assessment. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas