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Advantages of OSCE according to Students



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Advantages of OSCE according to Students:
1. Attitude of examiners is better as compared to traditional practical examination

Students


  1. More conceptual learning




  1. No bias in time and questions by examiners




  1. Improves clinical skills, knowledge and self-confidence of students

5. Feedback given by examiners which was very helpful


Disadvantages of OSCE according to Students:
1. No direct interaction with examiners
2. Little difficult to manage time at stations .
3. May not be comprehensive assessment
Suggestions by Students to make OSCE more effective:
1. There should be some interaction or conversation with the examiners.
2. More time needed for each station.
3. More emphasis should be given on maintaining confidentiality of the examination.
DISCUSSION:
It is well known that conventional practical examination has several problems [11-13]. The traditional tools for assessment of medical students have mainly consisted of written exams (essay type, multiple choice, and short-answer type questions), bedside viva and clinical case presentation. These have focused on the “knows” and “knows how” aspects, i.e., the focus has been on the base of the ‘Miller’s pyramid of competence’.Oral / viva examinations has been replaced by objective structured clinical examination to overcome the problems which are faced in traditional practical examination in medical institutions [10].In one study Wadde S K et al found that both students and teachers accepted that OSCE is better than traditional practical examination [8].It is well known that conventional practical examinations have several problems[9].

This particular study was aimed to understand the acceptability of the OSCE among students and teachers as it was a relatively new assessment tool for them in our newly formed college .This experience provided an opportunity to know the students’ and teachers’ responses about OSCE. They raised some issues about advantages and disadvantages of this method of examination and also gave some suggestions for further improvement of OSCE. Both students and teachers accepted that this type of examination is better than the traditional practical examination.

The majority of students perceived that OSCE had a better content and construct validity since the OSCE, in its structured checklist pattern helped them navigate smoothly through the clinical steps thus helping them know their weaknesses in clinical examination making OSCE a better examination method and a learning stimulus compared with the Traditional clinical examination.[14]. Regarding the content of the OSCE, they felt that the questions were more relevant and logical with proper blueprinting of syllabus, the sequence of questions in the unobserved stations following the observed stations were proper and valid. Since all the students were exposed to similar types of questions with the same difficulty level, they felt that the checklist system is a fair and unbiased method with lesser element of luck playing any part in assessment. This also stimulated the critical thinking ability of the students which was welcomed by the students. Similar views were put forward by Duffield [15]

55.55% of faculty members agreed that OSCE covered a wide range of knowledge compared with conventional examination.66% of teachers agreed that OSCE compelled the students to learn different procedures in details.44% of teachers agreed that OSCE specifically highlighted the weak and strong part of subject.66% of faculty members agreed that OSCE assessed the various domain of student’s knowledge in better way compared with conventional examination.88% of teachers agreed that Checklist in OSCE provided a fair system of marking which removed Variability of examiner.44% of teachers agreed that OSCE was exhausting and lengthy compared with conventional examination.33% of teachers found OSCE is more stressful compared with conventional examination. But overall 88% of faculty member found that OSCE should be followed as method of assessment in General Medicine in all coming internal examinations.

Regarding traditional university examination, the teachers complained about extensiveness but students complained about variability and irrelevance of questions by examiners. Most of the students and teachers agreed that examiner bias may be eliminated by following this type of assessment. They also agreed that it is easier to pass OSCE as compared to traditional practical examination. Several studies have proved the Objective Structured Clinical/Practical Examination as a reliable assessment tool[16-19]. The examiners should be involved in teaching a skill prior to assess it, which may be helpful in enhancing the quality of OSCE/OSPE. The examiners or assessors should be trained to ensure reliability and consistency in scoring criteria. [20, 21].




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