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Original Research

Objective structured practical examination versus conventional method: Students’ choice

Hrishikesh Bagchi, Ankur Bhattacharjee, Nirmalya Chakrabarti, Partha Sarathi Ghosh.


Background: Since the introduction of competency-based medical education in the medical curriculum all over India, emphasis has been given not only toward cognitive but also skill development of the undergraduate learners of the MBBS course. The traditional teaching methods are modified encouraging more interactive sessions, self-directed learning, and early clinical exposures. The assessment methods have also experienced certain modifications. For evaluation of the practical knowledge of the students in pre- and paraclinical departments, objective structured practical examination (OSPE) is being employed in several medical institutions. However, the question of its superiority and acceptability in comparison with the conventional practical examination exists there.

Aims and Objectives: The present study aimed to estimate the perception and acceptance among the students regarding these two assessment methods.

Materials and Methods: The 1st year undergraduate students of the Malda Medical College, Malda, were chosen for the study. After their prior sensitization regarding the two assessment methods, the students were given a feedback questionnaire having 15 questions made from different angles to compare the two modes of assessment. The results are subsequently analyzed.

Results: The students (98%) marked OSPE as a more objective way of assessment, which also helps improve practical skills and confidence. They (95%) also recommended the implementation of OSPE in their practical examination.

Conclusion: The majority of the students opined positively in favor of OSPE and stated their acceptance and recommendation in this respect.

Key words: Objective Structured Practical Examination; Conventional Practical Examination; Practical Skill

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