To examine the effect of instructional format on medical students' learning of ECG diagnosis.
Two experiments employed different learning and practice methods. In the first, students were randomly allocated to one of two instructional approaches, one organized around features (e.g., QRS voltage) and the other around diagnostic categories (e.g., bundle branch blocks), followed by a practice phase. In the second experiment, the instruction was standardized, and students were randomly allocated to one of two practice phases, either "contrastive" where examples from various categories are mixed together, or "non-contrastive" where all the examples in a single category are practiced in a single block.
In the first experiment, there was no significant differences in students' diagnostic accuracy on novel ECG examples. In the second experiment, students exposed to the contrastive approach in the practice phase had superior diagnostic accuracy (46%) compared to 30% accuracy for the non-contrastive session, p
The European Biomedical Ethics Practitioner Education Project (EBEPE), funded by the BIOMED programme of the European Commission, is a five-nation partnership to produce open learning materials for healthcare ethics education. Papers and case studies from a series of twelve conferences throughout the European Union, reflecting the 'burning issues' in the participants' healthcare systems, have been collected by a team based at Imperial College, London, where they are now being edited into a series of seven activity-based workbooks for individual or group study. These draft workbooks are now being read by a network of critical readers across Europe, whose comments will be incorporated into the final versions of the workbooks. The result will be the first European-wide and Europe-centred resource for teaching students, practitioners, and members of ethics committees. Topics covered include: Resource allocation and rationing The rights of children and young people Long-term care of the elderly Mental health and mental illness Autonomy and patient choice Decisions at the end of life A study guide to using the workbooks. The collaborative nature of the project has highlighted differentiated national approaches in medical ethics. Against the British and Dutch rights-orientated approach have emerged two other alternative models: the Nordic preference for administrative resolution of entitlement disputes, and the southern European emphasis on deontological codes. A genuinely European reconstruction of autonomy and rights, using hermeneutic, feminist and narrative approaches to counterbalance individualistic models, is emerging across the workbooks. The programme has also uncovered national differences in how ethics should be taught, with the workbooks' style being an experiential approach. Thus the EBEPE project is developing new models in both substantive and pedagogic senses, about both what should be taught and how it should be presented.