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Peer Review


by Michael Richardson


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Sep 16, 2008 by Health Sciences
Overview: The University of Washington School of Medicine learning resource provides an overview on scoliosis including the incidence of the problem, screening recommendations, treatment, classifications, and radiographic assessment. It is designed as a chapter in an online textbook. According to the textbook preface: "Approaches To Differential Diagnosis In Musculoskeletal Imaging: an introductory syllabus on musculoskeletal radiology, concentrating on approaches to differential diagnosis; that is, going from the findings to the diagnosis."
Type of Material: The material is in a primarily text-based lecture/presentation format which includes drawings and a radiograph depicting scoliosis.
Recommended Uses: This learning resource could be used to reinforce information presented in lecture or as a substitute if lecture is missed.
Technical Requirements: There are no special technical requirements for use of this material. The user needs only a computer connected to the Internet.
Identify Major Learning Goals: After working through this learning resource the participate will be able to dictate appropriately using correct terms the results of examining a person with scoliosis.
Target Student Population: The target population would be medical, nurse practioner, physician assistant, or physical therapy students. The site may also be helpful for those with scoloisis to better understand their condition.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Prerequisite knowledge includes high school reading level and human anatomy/physiology and medical terminology.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The material is well organized, clear and concise. It provides sufficient information related to the diagnosis of scoliosis.
Concerns: There is a lack of interactivity with the learning content.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The material is well organized and reinforces concepts related to scoliosis progressively. One could learn a lot in a very short period of time from reviewing the drawings, the radiograph, and the text information. Learners should have an understanding of examining patients with scoliosis, as well as how to appropriately report findings.
Concerns: The material would benefit from explicitly stated learning objectives and prerequisite knowledge.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The learning material is very easy to use. Use of the site is intuitive. The side menu provides links to other orthopedic disorders which can be diagnosed with digital imaging.
Concerns: A suggestion rather than a concern, is for the author to include some kind of interactive self-test for the learner -- such as a case study with x-rays.