Progress Test - Pilot 2

Dear student,

Thank you for expressing interest in the project.

You are asked to participate in a research study within the field of medical education that aims to develop an international adaptive progress test for medical students.

This is a great opportunity for you to test your medical knowledge by answering questions that are developed by eight European medical schools and to gain experience with a progress test which is adaptive.

This is a formative exercise and taking part in this study will have no consequences for your study progress. All test results will be treated confidentially and will be anonymized for further processing.

Before you decide whether you would like to participate in this study, please read this information carefully and if you have any questions ask the contact If you decide to participate in the study, please fill out the survey below.

.What is the purpose and background of this study?
1) Write and calibrate test items that will form an item bank
2) Develop cognitive models to enable automatic item generation
3) Participate in the online adaptive international progress test by using your own device in your preferred workplace.

International progress tests are already widely used within medical schools. Progress testing, a longitudinal assessment strategy, enhances long term memory compared to traditional assessment methods, that enable short-term memory learning. The increasing mobility of medical students within Europe, requires a general level of knowledge. Therefore, universities in Europe increasingly cooperate to ensure quality of medical education.

Computerized adaptive testing enables individual customization of the progress test, by using an algorithm that dynamically selects the difficulty of the item based on the knowledge level of the test taker. This increases reliability for students in earlier academic years and will cope with the pitfall of student fatigue associated to test length. To be able to create this adaptive test, a large item bank is a necessity. Therefore, one focus of this project to create a large bank with calibrated items.

This study is part of an EU Erasmus+ funded grant lead by Maastricht University (the Netherlands). Through collaboration with eight universities in Europe, we strive to develop an online adaptive international progress test for the medical curriculum. Partner institutes are: University Medical Centre Groningen (The Netherlands), Universidade do Minho (Braga, Portugal), University of Exeter (UK), University of Plymouth (UK), University of Helsinki (Finland), Medical University of Łódź (Poland), Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland).

1. What does this entire research project entails?
The pilot phase of this study will consist of 3 progress tests over 2 year. Medical students of all study years of all eight partner universities will be asked to participate in taking the test. The test is not part of the regular medical curriculum. The study is led by Maastricht University, but the eight partner universities will locally organize the pilot phase. The data of the test will be evaluated by University of Exeter and Maastricht University in between each of the three pilot tests.

2. What does the researcher expect from you?
We ask you to participate in one or more of the four pilot tests within this study. You are free to decide which test(s) you want to participate in. For example, you don’t have to have participated in Test 1 to participate in Test

The tests you can subscribe for are the following:
Test 1 (October 2019)
Test 2 (November 2020)
Test 3 (April 2021)

Tests 1 and 2 are computerized non-adaptive; consist of 150 questions each; they last 2 hours
Test 3 is computerized adaptive; consists of 150 questions and lasts 2 hours.

In test 1 or 2 you will take a progress test in which the test taking can be similar to the tests you are used to take in your normal curriculum. These tests are used to check the difficulty of the newly written test items during this study. Test 3 also make use of newly written items, but the test taking form is now adaptive. After every item you answered, the algorithm chooses a new item based on your knowledge level. In these tests you can only go forward through the questions, which means you are not able to correct an answer on a previous question.
The test will be taken on your own computer/laptop at your preferred workplace (i.e. your study room at home). You will take the test together with an estimated number of students of 50 per test. This number will depend on how many students apply to take part in this research. You don’t have to prepare yourself for this test. After the test you will be asked to fill out a digital questionnaire.
After test 3 you can optionally take part in a focus group on the experience with an adaptive test. In this focus group, one of the local researchers will sit together with about 12 students who participated in test 3. The researcher will ask the students about their experiences with the adaptive form of the test. The local research team will invite you for this focus group through email after test 4. The focus group will take place around two weeks after test 3 and will take one hour.

3. Conditions online testing with your own device, You will take this test by using the e-assessment QuizOne® platform that provides a secure and easy to-use environment for online assessment. During the test duration faculty staff will act as invigilator by using a proctoring tool. This tool enables to monitor your screen activity and surroundings by using your webcam, proctor-to-all audio communication and one-to-one communication. There will be no recordings made at any time before, during or after the test duration.

4. Possible risks
Whether or not you decide to participate in this study will have no effect on your study results, ECTS points or the continuation of your studies. This is guaranteed because the researchers of this study do not play a role in your medical curriculum and/or researchers who play a role in your curriculum do not have the possibility to see which results belong to which person (they don’t have access to traceable data).

5. Possible advantages and disadvantages of participation
Before you decide to participate in this study, it is very important that you look carefully to the advantages and disadvantages for you. As described before you will gain extra experience in taking a progress test, which will give you extra insight in your medical knowledge and your learning. We ask from you that you invest some of your time to take the test. The expectation is that the results of this study will be of benefit for development of medical curricula in the future.

6. In case you wish to withdraw from participation
Participation in this study is on voluntary basis. If you decide not to participate, you don’t have to do anything or give a reason for this. If you do decide to participate, you always have the option to withdraw from the study, also while taking a test. Please contact your local project administration to communicate your withdrawal. Your research data will be used up until your moment of withdrawal, unless you explicitly ask for removal of your data. Whether or not you will participate in this study, either way this will have no result for the continuation of your studies.
A. Focus group interview
Data that is part of the focus group are not individually removable after collection. Withdrawal of participation means that the data collected up until the withdrawal will be used in the study. However, you can ask for removal of personal details.
B. Anonymity
Your collected data will be anonymized during the course of the study. This means that all personal details and traceable data will be removed after September 1st 2021. Because we can no longer track down which data is yours, it is not possible to remove your data after this phase.
In the case you would not like to participate in this study anymore, you can indicate this until the expected end of the project, September 1st, 2021.

7. You will be informed in case relevant information about the study becomes available during the study
If during the study information arises that will be of influence on you, we will update you timely. If reasons arise to abort the study, we will also let you know ahead of time.

8. Usage and storage of data
During this study, personal details will be collected, saved and stored. Personal details are data which could be traced back to a person. The requirements for collection of personal data are described in the AVG/GDPR (Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming/General Data Protection Regulation), which is the EU law regarding data safety and privacy. In this study, we gather the following personal details: name, age, gender, year of study. For maximal elimination of privacy risks, the responsible researcher and the educational institute observes the requirements of the AVG/GDPR. All collected data will be treated with uttermost carefulness and will be stored within a password protected environment (secured by Maastricht University).

9. Pseudonymization and Anonymization of the test data
For the duration of the project, until December 2021, your personal details as well as your answers on the test items will pseudonymized and stored under a code. All data that will be sent to a third party only contains this code, but not your name or other details that could trace back to your details without the code. Each local partner for this project will have a file in which the local identification of the participant will match the individual identification number used in the study. None of the researchers responsible for data analysis will have access to the local identification of the participant, only to the individual identification number to be used in the study.
All project employees have confidentiality duty. Neither in project reports nor publications about the study will the data be traceable back to your personal details.
Confidentiality and anonymization
The following people are entitled to have access to your full data.
1. Carlos Fernando Collares, assistant professor at Maastricht University
2. Joyce Moonen, project leader at Maastricht University

The following people have access to not identifiable, anonymized data:
1. Michal Nowakowski, adjunct professor at the Jagiellonian University
2. José Miguel Pêgo, assistant professor at the University of Minho
3. A.D.C (Debbie) Jaarsma, full professor at the University of Groningen
4. Kevin Brandom, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter
5. Adrian Freeman, full professor at the University of Exeter
6. Thomas Gale, full professor at the University of Plymouth
7. Otto Helve, clinical teacher at the University of Helsinki
8. Janusz Janczukowicz, full professor at the Medical University of Lodz
9. Neil Rice, senior assessment analyst at the University of Exeter
10. Steven Burr, full professor at the University of Plymouth

Saving period research data
The research data will be saved pseudonymized for the time of the project and will be destroyed after this period (September 1st, 2021). After the project has ended the data will be fully anonymous. This has to do with the AVG/GDPR requirements. Scientific institutes are obliged to save data for this period. Carlos Fernando Collares is responsible to reduce raw datasets with personal data to inter-item correlation matrices, which allows other researchers to reanalyze the data without any personal information. The data reduction procedure complies with guidelines around monitoring scientific integrity and replicability of this study. Reduced datasets shall be stored for 5 years after the completion of the project (September 1st, 2026).

Deletion of data
The personal details we collect for the study will be destroyed once they are no longer needed for the study. Research data that contain traceable information will be processed anonymous following the guidelines for AVG/GDPR. Your personal details will be destroyed no later than September 1st, 2021.

10. Information on your rights when processing the data
As a participant in this study, you have certain rights. For example, the right for information, right for inspection and right for forgetfulness. For general information, you can consult the following website of of the Dutch Data Protection Authority. For questions concerning this specific study you can contact the local administration that processes your personal details. This is Katarzyna Janusz,

11. Approval of Ethical Committee
For this research was given approval of the Ethical committee of Medical University of Lodz Number of the approval: RNN/340/19/KE

12. If you want more information or have complaints
With questions or complaints, please contact the local research team, see details at the end of this sheet.

Local Contact Information for Medical University of Lodz
Name: Katarzyna Janusz
Office: Centre for Medical Education, Czechoslowacka 2B, 92-216 Lodz
Tel: +48 795 245 140

We thank you very much for your your participation.

Katarzyna Janusz
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