Moving Away from Solely MCQ-based Exams: Short Answer Questions for Enhancing the Variety of Assessment Methods in the Large Classroom

Title: Moving Away from Solely MCQ-based Exams: Short Answer Questions for Enhancing the Variety of Assessment Methods in the Large Classroom
Authors: Halasz, Melinda
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Date: 29-May-2019
Online since: 2019-06-10T13:33:40Z
Abstract: PATH30030 Haematology/Immunosuppression is a UCD level 3 (NFQ level 8) Pathology module in Medicine worth 5.0 ECTS credits. The module is designed for the combined cohort of Stage 2 Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) and Stage 4 Undergraduate Medicine (UgM) Programmes (including a group of Malaysian students) for the maximum number of 315 students, from all over the world. The students have diverse educational, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. 190 This module outlines the diseases of the peripheral blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes and their treatment. It includes the principles of transfusion, the study of infective agents seen in the immunocompromised patient, helminths and infections seen in the returned traveller and their treatment. Pathology, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology contents are delivered in this module by academic staff and clinicians. Previously, the assessment on this module was purely multiple-choice question (MCQ) based end-of-semester examination (N=90; 100% of module grade) (Table 1). In Medicine, MCQ based examinations are favoured because they enable assessment of large amounts of content/knowledge, and it is possible to grade them by computer (and generate associated statistics) (Epstein, 2007; Table 2). The latter is especially beneficial if large numbers of students are enrolled to the programme. However, MCQs cannot assess problem-solving ability and clinical reasoning skills which medical students need to develop. In addition, students might guess the correct answer reinforcing false knowledge. Student feedback revealed that students do not like the pure MCQ based examinations, and suggested including some element of continuous assessment, and a written part to the exit exam. The student feedback also indicated that they would learn more if there was a written part to the exam.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Access and Lifelong Learning, University College Dublin
Start page: 189
End page: 202
Series/Report no.: Case Study 14
Keywords: Assessment strategyHigher educationClinical vignettesLearning outcomes
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: Padden L., Tonge J., Moylan T., O'Neill G. (eds.). Inclusive Assessment & Feedback: Universal Design Case Studies from IADT and UCD
ISBN: 978-1-910963357
Appears in Collections:Medicine Research Collection

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