The introduction and perception of an OSCE with an element of self- and peer-assessment.Eur J Dent Educ. 2008 Feb; 12(1):2-7.EJ
The purpose of the present study was to encourage reflective dental students by performing an educational Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) with an element of self- and peer-assessment. An interdisciplinary OSCE comprising cariology, endodontics and microbiology was set up for all third-year students. A blueprint secured representation of the skills to be tested, i.e. knowledge, interdisciplinary knowledge, communication, clinical reasoning and practical procedures. At each station positive and constructive feedback was given to the students based on predefined criteria. Further, the students received written marks after completion of the OSCE. At one station the feedback and marks were replaced by self- and peer-assessment performed by the students in groups after the OSCE. Afterwards, the 68 students and 8 teachers participating in the OSCE answered a questionnaire on their opinion and perception of the examination. The results showed good correlation between the marks given and the students' perception of task difficulty. Generally, there were no systematic variations in the marks given during the week or by individual assessors at the same station, except for one, as well as agreement with marks of the ordinary clinical assessment. The marks given during self- and peer-assessment differed widely, indicating a need for training in this aspect. The questionnaires revealed a very positive perception of the OSCE from both students and teachers. Thus, the majority found the examination relevant and of educational benefit, capable of improving the learning of the students and useful for assessment purposes. Also, the self- and peer-assessment was found useful by the students. In conclusion, this interdisciplinary OSCE stressing constructive feedback to the students was perceived very positively by students and teachers and recognised for its beneficial possibilities in education and assessment.