Introduction and Evaluation of Objective Structured Practical Examination as an Assessment Tool in Pharmacology for Second Year Medical Students FC01-FC04
Dr. Shipra Jain,
RIICO Institutional Area, Sitapura Tonk Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Introduction: Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Practical examination in pre and para clinical subjects lacks objectivity and carries risk of bias. This has been revamped with introduction of Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) in several medical colleges. It comprises of structured questions with defined marking system thus ensuring holistic learning for students.
Aim: To evaluate perception of second year undergraduate students towards OSPE in the subject of Pharmacology, in a tertiary care teaching hospital situated in Northern India.
Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted on second professional MBBS students of 2018 batch in the Department of Pharmacology of a tertiary care teaching hospital. After sensitisation of students towards OSPE, the second year medical undergraduates were divided into four batches with each batch comprising of about 30 students. The assessment was conducted for four consecutive days by the faculty and staff in Department of Pharmacology. The OSPE questions along with the answer key and checklist were prepared. OSPE comprised of 10 stations out of which five were procedure stations (Observed) while the other five stations were unobserved in the form of spotters. The time assigned for each station was five minutes. The effectiveness of OSPE was evaluated through a feedback questionnaire. Cronbachâ€™s alpha was applied to check the internal construct reliability and Pearson's coefficient of correlation was applied to check the test-retest reliability.
Results: The Pearson's coefficient of correlation showing the test-retest reliability was 0.976. Cronbach's alpha for the feedback questionnaire was 0.79 which showed high internal construct reliability. For the cognitive domain, 112 (91.82%) students favoured that the questions were quite clear. In the psychomotor domain, 76 (62.30%) students responded in favour of its usefulness in skill development. For affective domain, 95 (77.87%) students said that it was not stressful. Regarding the assessment method, 114 (93.44%) students favoured that instructions were clear and adequate. A statistically significant difference (p<0.001) was observed in the perception of students towards OSPE as compared to Conventional Practical Examination (CPE).
Conclusion: The feedback received from students was encouraging. OSPE helped students in better learning and acquisition of practical skills as compared to CPE. The study highlighted the need to revise the existing methods of practical examination.