The current project will involve the implementation and evaluation of a pioneering protocol for the online clinical assessment of practical skills (eCAPS) for medical residents and registrars training in Emergency Medicine. It will use a variety of web-based video technologies to facilitate the learning and innovative assessment of physical examinations of the musculoskeletal system initially targeting the knee and shoulder joints. Specifically, eCAPS includes three interdependent elements with a progressive (asynchronous to synchronous) organization of online instructor and learner-generated video resources to allow formative and summative assessments of practical competencies of Emergency Medicine residents and registrars performing selected physical examinations of the musculoskeletal system. This includes:
1. an integrated series of web-based video lectures and tailored clinical demonstrations of practical skill sets (musculoskeletal examinations) by experts in the field;
2. resident/registrar (“learner”) generated video demonstrations of selected, clinically relevant practical skills recorded with portable USB cameras (asynchronous) uploaded to a secure response and feedback online repository for personal and peer-community access; and
3. real time (synchronous) video assessment of residents/registrars completing practical skill sets for physical examination of the musculoskeletal system within a simulated OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) scenario using readily accessible web-based technologies (e.g. Skype).
The evaluation of the proposed implementation of the eCAPS protocol will provide important baseline information on aspects such as the flexibility, viability and generalizability of emerging online learning options for developing and assessing practical/procedural skills within an Emergency Medicine training program.
Furthermore, the current project will provide insights into the learning outcomes of the eCAPS protocol and the potential applications of this online approach for facilitating the standardization, validation and recording of clinical competence across a range of training levels and settings including rural and remote Emergency Medicine contexts.