E-OSCE D2 (phase 2)

Long Title: Electronic Registration of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations - Deployment & Dissemination
Universität Bern
Fachhochschule Ostschweiz
Berner Fachhochschule
Université de Lausanne
Universität Zürich
Domain: ELS
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.09.2010
End Date: 31.10.2011
Project Leader: Ph. Zimmermann
Website: http://www.e-osce.ch/

E-OSCE D2 provides an electronic system for secure, time-saving and error-minimizing OSCE assessments that can also be used by other institutions in their own context. Users profit by an improved administrative component, standardized XML interfaces and the necessary legal security.

(see also phase 1 and phase 3)


Component Description
e-OSCE Website Website with introductory video, desktop App, iPad App, FAQs and publications
e-OSCE Client iOS for Apple iPad (source code available upon request)
e-OSCE Admin a web-based module for the import and export of examination data, the compilation of checklists and the organisation of the multi-station examination (source code available upon request)
e-OSCE Monitoring iOS based (source code available upon request)
Detailed documentation presentations, test reports, concept papers, evaluations and statistics , questionnaire, statistics (available upon request)

Client, Admin, and Monitoring component have been developed during this second phase. The system is ready for deployment in a real OSCE examination.

The switch from the Windows to the iOS platform also meant that the client application had to be virtually redeveloped from scratch.
After different laboratory and field tests, the client application is now a mature and exceedingly user-friendly application, as been shown in a large-scale field study involving a comparison with the paper version of the checklists. The examiners have a clear preference for e-OSCE compared with the paper version, they consider the cognitive outlay on operating it to be lower and they also feel that the user friendliness of e-OSCE is better than that of paper.
The notes function, which the examiners had stressed as being important in the prior two phases, is virtually no longer needed with the new client interface.
The migration of the system operation to IML has been comleted. An XML scheme has been developed, but there's only low interest in exchanging data between the systems. Therefore a simple export and import function seems to be a better way than to establish standardized interfaces.

Publications on the interaction design of the e-OSCE user interface have appeared in the proceedings of the Interact, GMA and USAB conferences in 2011 and the design was presented at these conferences.


The new system will be based on the developments and concepts of the first phase project. During the second phase the efforts about sustainability and dissemination of the system will be intensified. Some parts of the system will be extended and adapted.
The organisational anchoring of the e-OSCE system into the assessment cycle of practical exams is the fundamental task of this phase.
Specific objectives are to:

  • develop an easy to use administrative component that will allow to collect, examine, edit and export assessment data;
  • provide standardized XML interfaces to external systems (e.g. FactScience, IML-Webpool, AWP) for data aggregation and easy integration of e-OSCE in IT infrastructures of other medical faculties;
  • define and implement (national) standardized XML interfaces for data exchange between the components (in cooperation with the project MEASURED); this standard will allow the free choice of components from different assessment systems;
  • provide a legaly secure system after clarifications to be achieved by jurists of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH (Bundesamtes für Gesundheit BAG) and the universities. A concluding technical standard can only be established after an appeal case.
  • mature and adapt the client application on tablet PC's (mobile performance capturing) so that developments on mobile devices can be used as optimal as possibe;
  • involve expert users into specification development and allow short iterations between testing and development; usability of the solution will be ensured by expert evaluations, user tests and pilot exams;
  • migrate the operation of the system stepwise from HSR to IML;
  • disseminate the system to interested institutions, in order to generate the real benefits and grant sustainability.


The following deliverables are foreseen:

  1. test report (pilot tests)
  2. project plan (technical evaluation and detailed concept for exam organisation)
  3. draft for XML specification (data exchange)
  4. presentation of project (conference)
  5. data definition and exchange format(s) (interface definition for Webpool and FactScience)
  6. client and server components of the system
  7. expert evaluation and user test report
  8. report on first execution of parallel assessments (paper and electronic forms)
  9. cooperation agreements with 1-2 partner organisations
  10. statement of jurists (Federal Office of Public Health and universities)
  11. administrative component of the system
  12. evaluation report for administrative component
  13. test report (system, interfaces, security)
  14. deputies of all swiss medical faculties know the e-OSCE system and have the opportunity to use it (dissemination)
  15. report about the execution of an exam at a partner institution
  16. "offer" for use of the system on federal exams (to all concerned parties)
  17. documentation on operational system (including technical adaptations after pilot tests)
  18. migration of system from HSR to IML done (documentation, software and instructions)
  19. final project report
  20. first exams in normal mode (executed by IML)