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J Taibah Univ Med Sci ; 17(1): 128-136, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466754

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study describes the process of remote assessment in medical education during the COVID-19 lockdown and shares data-driven experiences in resolving emerging concerns. METHODS: We analysed the data of end-of-course paper-based exams (PBEs) and web-based exams (WBEs) conducted during the academic year 2019/2020. Twelve end-of-block exams were included. There were four exams each for the first-, second-, and third-year students. Eight exams were conducted as PBEs, and four were administered as WBEs. We compared the mean scores of PBEs and WBEs between exams and batches. Additionally, we compared the PBE and WBE scores obtained by 10 high-performance and 10 lowest-achieving students. RESULTS: Variations were found in the scores of students from each of the three batches in PBEs or WBEs. In a few instances, the difference was statistically significant. No specific trend or pattern was detected in the difference between the scores of PBEs and WBEs. The mean score for the WBEs was intermediate among the means of PBEs for the first- and second-year students, but lower for the third-year students. Individual students' marks in different exams consistently showed a positive correlation. The correlation was always high for PBEs (r = 0.782, 0.847). CONCLUSION: The present study showed that average and individual scores in WBEs and PBEs are comparable. Although there were some variations between the results of the two assessment modalities, no remarkable trend or pattern was observed. WBEs offer an ideal approach for formative assessment, progress testing, and the low-weight, but frequent, nature of continuous assessment.

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