The Facebook friend finder
Riveted to my seat, I listen intently to the latest advancements in diagnostic techniques for prostate cancer. The lecturer then starts to explain the qualities of the tests—sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value . . . and I start to doze off. As a medical student, these terms often made me switch off my attention. I would just give up on understanding concepts, and merely learn definitions by rote and equations before exams, which of course were promptly forgotten afterwards.
In addition to being so abstract, terms such as false positives and negatives made it hard to get a grip on things. Sure, they made sense after I had thought it through, but the effort needed to understand them was galling. Even Wikipedia fails in this respect and just provides dry definitions.
Using examples that students can relate to would make things clearer and allow them to remember