In our context, problem-based learning is not used in the preuniversity environment. Consequently, students have a great deal of difficulty adapting to this method, particularly regarding self-study before the reporting phase of a tutorial session. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to assess if the application of an assessment test (multiple choice questions) before the reporting ... [Show full abstract] phase of a tutorial session would improve the academic achievement of students at the preclinical stage of our medical course.
A test consisting of five multiple choice questions, prepared by tutors of the module at hand and related to the problem-solving process of each tutorial session, was applied following the self-study phase and immediately before the reporting phase of all tutorial sessions. The questions were based on the previously established student learning goals. The assessment was applied to all modules from the fifth to the eighth semesters. The final scores achieved by students in the end-of-module tests were compared.
Overall, the mean test score was 65.2±0.7% before and 68.0±0.7% after the introduction of an assessment test before the reporting phase (P<0.05). Students in the sixth semester scored 67.6±1.6% compared to 63.9±2.2% when they were in the fifth semester (P<0.05). Students in the seventh semester achieved a similar score to their sixth semester score (64.6±2.6% vs 63.3±2%, respectively, P>0.05). Students in the eighth semester scored 71.8±2.3% compared to 70±2% when they were in the seventh semester (P>0.05).
In our medical course, the application of an assessment test (a multiple choice test) before the reporting phase of the problem-based learning tutorial process increases the overall academic achievement of students, especially of those in the sixth semester in comparison with when they were in the fifth semester.