Objective structured clinical/practical examination (OSCE/OSPE).

Dept of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India.
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.97). 39(2):82-4.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last few decades in India, a gradual transition has occurred from Conventional Practical Assessment (CPE) to objective methods of evaluation in the form of Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE). Opinions differ on the relative reliability of the two methods. The objective of this study was to verify the reliability of subjective assessment of practical laboratory skills vis-a-vis objective practical assessment. This retrospective study was based on the analysis of the results of end-semester practical examinations given to the entire cohort of 50 students in the department of Physiology in our Institute in the academic year 2012-13. All students were assessed by both methods, CPE and OSPE, in their second end-semester practical examination. The difference of scores in OSPE and CPE was calculated. The OSPE and CPE scores were then sorted in descending order of their differences. Regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association of the two scores. Bland Altman analysis of differences and averages between OSPE and CPE score was also done. The average scores obtained by students in the two methods were nearly equal, i.e., 61.2 in OSPE and 61.5 in the CPE. However, there were some students who scored more in OSPE and some who scored more in CPE: There was no consistent pattern in these differences. It can be inferred from this study that the law of averages conceals the stark subjectivity inherent in viva voce; it corrupts the reliability of the marks obtained by the student in practical assessment. This can be overcome by the use of OSPE.
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    ABSTRACT: Assessment for practical skills in medical education needs improvement from subjective methods to objective ones. An Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) has been considered as one such method. This study is an attempt to evaluate the feasibility of using OSPE as a tool for the formative assessment of undergraduate medical education in pharmacology. Students of second year MBBS, at the end of the first term, were assessed by both the conventional practical examination and the Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE). A five-station OSPE was conducted one week after the conventional examination. The scores obtained in both were compared and a Bland Altman plot was also used for comparison of the two methods. Perceptions of students regarding the new method were obtained using a questionnaire. There was no significant difference in the mean scores between the two methods (P = 0.44) using the unpaired t test. The Bland Altman plot comparing the CPE (conventional practical examination) with the OSPE showed that 96% of the differences in the scores between OSPE and CPE were within the acceptable limit of 1.96 SD. Regarding the students' perceptions of OSPE compared to CPE, 73% responded that OSPE could partially or completely replace CPE. OSPE was judged as an objective and unbiased test as compared to CPE, by 66.4% of the students. Use of OSPE is feasible for formative assessment in the undergraduate pharmacology curriculum.
    09/2013; 2:53. DOI:10.4103/2277-9531.119040
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