Use of computer technology to modify objective structured clinical examinations.J Dent Educ. 2005 Oct; 69(10):1133-6.JD
Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) are multistationed clinical examinations that have been shown to be effective in testing students' ability to integrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired during their preclinical and clinical training and experiences. The original OSCE for the third-year Preventive Dentistry course at Baylor College of Dentistry was based on the traditional format consisting of four sections of twelve stations with a group of twelve students rotating through each of the sections simultaneously. This arrangement allowed for examination of one-half of the class. The other half of the class took the exam on an alternate date. To reduce the disruption caused by the students' moving from station to station and to allow for examination of the entire class in one setting, the traditional concept was modified using computer technology, and the twelve stations "moved" via a PowerPoint presentation while students remained stationary. Questions on both exams provided a means for testing data interpretation, diagnostic skills, and, to some extent, interpersonal skills. The overall atmosphere during the computer-based examination was less chaotic. Each student received identical instructions, explanations, and time allotments to respond to the information presented. The ratio of faculty to students required to monitor the exam was less than required for the traditional format. Additionally, since there was no need to allow time for student transition, the total time required to administer the exam was reduced. Thus, objective assessment of the entire class was accomplished using fewer faculty members and less class time and with less disruption for the students.