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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 71-75

Assessment for learning with Objectively Structured Practical Examination in Biochemistry

1 Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shivani Jaswal
House No. 1152 A, Sector 32 B, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-516X.162285

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Context: Despite a radical shift in assessment methodologies over the last decade, the majority of medical colleges still follow the Traditional Practical Examination (TPE). TPE raises concerns about examiner variability, standardization, and uniformity of assessment. To address these issues and in line with the notion of assessments as motivating what and how students learn, Objectively Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) was introduced, as an assessment modality. Despite its usefulness, awareness and motivation to use the same, still needs to be probed. Aims: To implement OSPE in the assessment of practical skills in biochemistry, and to know student and faculty perspectives regarding OSPE. Settings and Design: OSPE was introduced at the stage of formative assessment of practical skills, for 94 year one MBBS students. Subjects and Methods: Students were divided into two groups; the first group was evaluated by the traditional method and the second by OSPE. Students were crossed over on a second examination. The mean score obtained by both the methods was compared statistically. Students and faculty perspectives regarding OSPE were obtained by a questionnaire. Student performance was compared using "Bland-Altman technique," and Student's t-test. Results: The mean scores of students was found to be significantly higher (P < 0.0001) when assessed with OSPE as compared to TPE. Number of students achieving >70% marks was also significantly higher with OSPE. Validity was supported by a significant correlation coefficient of comparison of marks by the two methods. Feedback from students and faculty indicated that they endorsed OSPE. Conclusions: This evaluation demonstrated the need for a structured approach to assessment. Going in line with the notion that assessment drives learning, introducing OSPE would help tailoring teaching-learning to optimize student satisfaction and learning.

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