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Am J Physiol. 1992 Dec;263(6):S33-6. doi: 10.1152/advances.1992.263.6.S33.

The Predictions Table: a tool for assessing students' knowledge.

The American journal of physiology

A A Rovick, J A Michael


  1. Department of Physiology, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois 60612.

PMID: 1476213 DOI: 10.1152/advances.1992.263.6.S33


The Predictions Table (PT), a tool for determining students' knowledge, is described. The PT is a matrix consisting of a group of variables and a set of time periods. Students enter in the PT their qualitative predictions of the effects of a perturbation on a physiological system. The instructor or a teaching program can then evaluate the students' knowledge from these entries. An example is given from the teaching program CIRCSIM, which deals with blood pressure regulation. It shows the way that the program uses errors in the students' PT entries. CIRCSIM was evaluated and was found to have a statistically significant effect. It reduced the number of errors that students made in predicting the responses of the cardiovascular system to a perturbation. Also, students who worked in groups had significantly greater improvement than did control students. Using CIRCSIM also significantly reduces the number of relationship errors that the students make. They made even fewer errors when an instructor was present in the computer classroom while the students used CIRCSIM.

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