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Medical School Cuts Dropout Rate by 6 Percent

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, located in New York City, has implemented software for use by faculty to measure student performance.

The New York City-based medical school is using software from ExamSoft to collect data from student exams and generate reports on what students can do to improve their performance. The exam management software is helping the school identify and better support struggling students, said David Lenihan, dean of preclinical medicine at the institution, in a statement issued Tuesday by ExamSoft.

"Tracking basic data at the end of a term, such as percentages or exam scores doesn’t really mean anything," explained Lenihan, in a case study released this week by ExamSoft. "We wanted to measure each student’s ability to answer a question, and start tracking predictive values for future performance. We needed to connect to specific student performance data earlier in the semester in order to make a real difference." Since adopting the software the school has cut its dropout rate from eight percent to two percent, according to Lenihan.

Instructors use ExamSoft to enter questions in an online test bank, assign category tags to the questions, then "create exams based on question performance and category content." After the test, the system will create a report for each student with personalized feedback on his or her performance, by category. The reports are designed to give students actionable insight on the areas where they need to improve.

Faculty members are also using the system's reports to evaluate curriculum effectiveness.

The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a division of Touro College, opened its doors in September 2007 in New York City's Harlem neighborhood. The school aims to recruit students who desire to practice medicine in underserved communities.

Additional information about ExamSoft, including the new case study, can be accessed at the company's Web site.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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