Osmosis updates

Hot off the press, straight from Osmosis

At Osmosis from Elsevier, continuous quality improvement is in our DNA. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve completed our quality review, revision, and update of the Osmosis question bank to ensure all items and explanations are patient-first, inclusive, and aligned with what students need to know to be successful on their USMLE® exams. 

The changes below are scheduled to launch on December 22, 2022. We’ve timed this update to minimize curricular impact and to ensure that students entering their dedicated step-prep period have only high-quality items in their quizzing experience.

What’s new?

  • New high-quality questions: More than 3,850 new, high-quality questions are being added to Osmosis! All questions accompanying Osmosis videos on foundational sciences, organ systems, and USMLE® library “learn pages”—as well as those in the Quiz Builder—have been purposefully written to help contextualize learning, reflect the USMLE® style and level of difficulty, include more inclusive language and represent diverse patient encounters. All mixed-quality items (approximately 2,000) are being retired.
  • New quiz builder experience and thoroughly revised question bank: The Osmosis quiz builder interface makes it easy for students to build custom quizzes based on their area and phase of study, from basic science through clinical practice. All available MCQs—more than 3,850 in total—have been reviewed, updated, and re-categorized to align with either Step 1 or Step 2 CK (and, in some cases, both) to better correspond to the learning objectives covered in their associated videos. You can begin using the new quiz-builder interface now at https://www.osmosis.org/qbank.
  • Improved alignment of questions with Osmosis videos: Assess learning across every step of your students’ journey with USMLE® Step 1 and Step 2 CK-style items that correspond to the learning objectives covered within our videos. Many gross anatomy video learn pages also include quick recall questions to support early learning of essential anatomy concepts.


How does Osmosis develop new assessment items?

All Osmosis assessment items are written by clinicians and undergo a rigorous internal peer-review and editing process to ensure they contain appropriately leveled content, realistic clinical vignettes, and patient-centered and inclusive language in board-style format. Each multiple-choice item features detailed explanations for all incorrect and correct answer options and a major takeaway to enhance learning. As appropriate, illustrated charts, images, and values are provided for further context.

What’s next?

Our next step—starting now!—is to expand our collection of clinical /USMLE® Step 2 CK-style items, applying the same standards of excellence to new item development. Expect to see more clinical items starting in mid-2023, paired one-to-one with a new collection of clinical videos designed to support students in their development of clinical reasoning, approach to disease, and patient care.

What does this mean for you as faculty and for your programs?

Our library of high-quality questions was created specifically for the study of medicine and supports a variety of curricula. It’s now easier than ever to find the right questions to support teaching and learning in your program. All questions accompanying videos are scoped for either the USMLE® Step 1 or Step 2 CK; all mixed-quality items, and any not directly related to the accompanying video, will be removed from learn pages on approximately December 22, 2022.

If you or your students are still using the “old” Osmosis quiz builder, you’ll be automatically switched to our new quiz-builder interface this month. As a result of the re-tagging and the retirement of lower-quality items, total question counts have shifted across the Step 1 and Step 2 CK quiz categories.

If you are using the “quiz all” feature in playlists and looking closely at the related question analytics, you may notice a reduction in question counts after we launch this update. That’s because:

    • Learn pages have been re-tagged as either basic science or clinical* along with the questions accompanying those videos.
    • After adding the 3,850+ new, high-quality items this year, the items that don’t meet our quality standards (approximately 2,000) will be retired and no longer available.

*With the exception of items from our anatomy clinical correlates, pharmacology, and biostatistics videos. These series are appropriate for both the study of basic science and clinical medicine; many of the accompanying questions may therefore be included in both Step 1 and Step 2 quizzes on video learn pages and in the Osmosis quiz-builder.

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