Clinical decision making requires healthcare professionals to assess an array of patient information and to choose the best possible treatment option for the individual. Ranked decision making is an important way to develop and assess decision-making skills in students. Dr Narelle Shadbolt from the Sydney Medical School has been creating ranked decision questions in Smart Sparrow for both formative and summative assessment, with support from Nicholas Randal and Andrew Barr.

Modules include a brief description of a presenting patient and then ask students to identify the next steps in patient management. Students are required to complete five dropdown boxes to rank options in order of most appropriate to least appropriate.

Template question available on BEST.

Preparing this question required the set-up of a large number of trap states within the Smart Sparrow lesson to provide feedback for students if they chose the same option for more than one input and to generate a score for the student based on their decision making. An example question has been shared with the BEST Network to enable others in the community to take advantage of the set-up to create their own ranking questions.

The tutorial also includes a review screen that allows students to compare their choices to the answers of their peers. Alternatively, the Smart Sparrow analytics offer the opportunity to bring up graphs visible only to the lesson owner and student responses can be reviewed in class to discuss the best options for case management.

Options for reviewing student responses. An in-lesson poll (left) or within the Smart Sparrow analytics (right).

Click here for step-by-step instructions for taking a copy of this module or other modules shared on the network. For a walkthrough of this lesson and how to modify the question, review the video below.

Mentioned in the video:

This tutorial is designed for questions with five options. In this example question, the correct answers were in order D, E, A, C, B. The below matrix was used to calculate the score for each option. The score for each option was calculated by how far away the option was from its correct position.

Links to other relevant videos:

Using a student’s input from another screen

The Smart Sparrow Poll Tool