Student evaluation of an OSCE in paediatrics at the University of the West Indies, JamaicaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Medical Education

, 4:22

First Online: 16 October 2004Received: 08 April 2004Accepted: 16 October 2004


BackgroundThe Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies first implemented the Objective Structured Clinical Examination OSCE in the final MB Examination in Medicine and Therapeutics during the 2000–2001 academic year. Simultaneously, the Child Health Department initiated faculty and student training, and instituted the OSCE as an assessment instrument during the Child Health Paediatric clerkship in year 5. The study set out to explore student acceptance of the OSCE as part of an evaluation of the Child Health clerkship.

MethodsA self-administered questionnaire was completed by successive groups of students immediately after the OSCE at the end of each clerkship rotation. Main outcome measures were student perception of examination attributes, which included the quality of instructions and organisation, the quality of performance, authenticity and transparency of the process, and usefulness of the OSCE as an assessment instrument compared to other formats.

ResultsThere was overwhelming acceptance of the OSCE in Child Health with respect to the comprehensiveness 90%, transparency 87%, fairness 70% and authenticity of the required tasks 58–78%. However, students felt that it was a strong anxiety-producing experience. And concerns were expressed regarding the ambiguity of some questions and inadequacy of time for expected tasks.

ConclusionStudent feedback was invaluable in influencing faculty teaching, curriculum direction and appreciation of student opinion. Further psychometric evaluation will strengthen the development of the OSCE.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6920-4-22 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Russell B Pierre, Andrea Wierenga contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Russell B Pierre - Andrea Wierenga - Michelle Barton - J Michael Branday - Celia DC Christie


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