Published 5/1/2015
Sarah Puleo

AAOS Introduces Print-on-Demand Examinations

During the 2015 AAOS Annual Meeting, the Central Evaluation Committee reviewed member concerns about dropping the print format for Academy self-assessment examination programs. After a thorough discussion, the committee approved a recommendation to reinstate print format with a new approach.

“The committee agreed to implement print-on-demand examination question-and-answer books,” said M. Daniel Wongworawat, MD, chair. “Although more members are accessing examination programs online, some members still want to study using the print format. This shift will enable the AAOS to offer the best of both worlds—print and digital.”

The move to digital format in 2014 eliminated the destruction of unsold, preprinted examination question-and-answer books and improved the timeliness of posting scored-and-recorded CME credit information to the CME transcript file. “The digital format also affords the AAOS greater opportunities to implement new educational features in the examinations,” explained Dr. Wongworawat. “For example, videos will be linked to discussion material for some questions to enrich the learning experience. And, we plan to use multislice magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomography (CT) images rather than one image for questions involving advanced imaging studies, to simulate the clinical experience in imaging interpretation. Print does not afford us this flexibility.”

Members using the print-on-demand format will need access to some technology to be able to review the videos and multislice MR and CT images when completing a self-assessment examination. For this reason, quick response (QR) codes will be included in the print-on-demand format. Members can use their smartphone to scan the QR code to view the online video or image file.

A request for a print-on-demand format examination program will generate an order to print a question book and an answer book and initiate shipment. For self-scored examination orders, the question-and-answer books are shipped together to the member. Orders for scored-and-recorded examinations result in two separate shipments—one for the question book and the second for the answer book. The answer book will be sent after the member completes entering his or her answers online and obtains a score.

Members using the print-on-demand format will need to go online to enter their examination program answers and complete an evaluation form. Once the evaluation survey is completed, CME credits will be added to the member’s transcript file.

“We will need to adjust some online programming, and this may delay implementation of the print-on-demand format,” explained Howard Mevis, director of the examinations program. “Additionally, we will need to investigate different printing options to ensure we maintain quality reproduction of images.”

Staff will also determine the additional costs to deliver the print-on-demand format and pass along these costs to the customer, noted Dr. Wongworawat. In addition, the option of purchasing a print-on-demand answer book for any online examination will continue.

“The Central Evaluation Committee members appreciated receiving reports from AAOS customer service and examination development staff regarding members’ requests to reinstate a print option for the examination programs,” said Dr. Wongworawat. “The committee’s action in response to member concerns ensures that AAOS examination programs will continue to provide substantial educational value for everyone.”

For more information on AAOS exams, visit the examination resources page in the AAOS online store, www.aaos.org/store

Sarah Puleo is the AAOS Customer Service Manager. She can be reached at puleo@aaos.org