Student performance on practical gross anatomy examinations is not affected by assessment modality

Amanda J. Meyer, Stanley I. Innes, Norman J. Stomski, Anthony J. Armson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anatomical education is becoming modernized, not only in its teaching and learning, but also in its assessment formats. Traditional "steeplechase" examinations are being replaced with online gross anatomy examinations. The aims of this study were to: (1) determine if online anatomy practical examinations are equivalent to traditional anatomy practical examinations; and (2) to examine if students' perceptions of the online or laboratory testing environments influenced their performance on the examinations. In phase one, 10 third-year students were interviewed to generate perception items to which five anatomy lecturers assigned content validity. In phase two, students' gross anatomical knowledge was assessed by examinations in two modes and their perceptions were examined using the devised survey instrument. Forty-five second-year chiropractic students voluntarily participated in Phase Two. The two randomly allocated groups completed the examinations in a sequential cross-over manner. Student performance on the gross anatomy examination was not different between traditional "steeplechase" (mean±standard deviation (SD): 69±11%) and online (68±15%) modes. The majority of students (87%) agreed that they felt comfortable using computers for gross anatomy examinations. However, fewer students found it easy to orientate images of cadaver specimens online. The majority of students (85%) agreed that they felt comfortable working with cadavers but there was less agreement on the effect of moving around the laboratory during practical examinations. This data will allow anatomists to confidently implement online assessments without fear of jeopardizing academic rigor or student performance. Anat Sci Educ 9: 111-120.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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