The validity of multiple choice practical examinations as an alternative to traditional free response examination formats in gross anatomy
SourceAnatomical Sciences Education, 6, 3, (2013), pp. 149-156
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Anatomical Sciences Education
SubjectNCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
Traditionally, an anatomy practical examination is conducted using a free response format (FRF). However, this format is resource-intensive, as it requires a relatively large time investment from anatomy course faculty in preparation and grading. Thus, several interventions have been reported where the response format was changed to a selected response format (SRF). However, validity evidence from those interventions has not proved entirely adequate for the practical anatomy examination, and thus, further investigation was required. In this study, the validity evidence of SRF was examined using multiple choice questions (MCQs) constructed according to different levels of Bloom's taxonomy in comparison with the traditional free response format. A group of 100 medical students registered in a gross anatomy course volunteered to be enrolled in this study. The experimental MCQ examinations were part of graded midterm and final steeplechase practical examination. Volunteer students were instructed to complete the practical examinations twice, once in each of two separate examination rooms. The two separate examinations consisted of a traditional free response format and MCQ format. Scores from the two examinations (FRF and MCQ) displayed a strong correlation, even with higher level Bloom's taxonomy questions. In conclusion, the results of this study provide empirical evidence that the SRF (MCQ) response format is a valid method and can be used as an alternative to the traditional FRF steeplechase examination.
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