Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Orla P. Barry, Eleanor O'Sullivan, Marian McCarthy
EuroSoTL Bridging Boundaries Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
A retrospecitve eight year study of assessment type in evaluating performance of multidisciplinary students in pharmacology
Univeristy College Cork
Poster Presentation
2015
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Optional Fields
Background: Engagement in high-quality assessment is essential for both educator and students. There is considerable pressure on pharmacology instructors to both effectively teach the discipline and to use effective assessment in multidisciplinary undergraduate student groups. To-date there are no studies documenting effective pharmacology assessment in the aforementioned group. Aim: This is an eight year observational retrospective study aimed at compiling, analysing and evaluating different types of assessment to gauge multidisciplinary (biochemistry, chemistry, physiology and medicine) student learning in pharmacology. Methods: Both quantitative and qualitative methods of assessment were used to provide a richer and mutually corroborative array of evidence. Assessment included end of module (EOM) multiple choice (MCQ) examination and an EOM written essay paper. Results: Our findings indicate significant variation in studentsí scores depending on the type of assessment employed. Strikingly over an eight year period annual mean scores in the physiology student cohort were consistently and significantly (p*<0.05 and p**<0.01) lower compared to all other groups. Interestingly our results also demonstrate no significant correlation between the physiology student marks scored in the two different test formats (r2 =0.29, p=0.17). Written essay scores were significantly higher (p*<0.05) than MCQ scores for the physiology student group. This contrasts with the medical student cohort who demonstrated a consistent and significant increase in mean scores compared to overall annual class means. In addition there was significant correlation (r2 =0.67, p*<0.05) in student marks scored in the two different test formats and written essay scores were not significantly different to MCQ scores Conclusion: The presence or absence of correlation between MCQ and essay scores indicates that student discipline influences whether student performance is dependent or independent of testing format. Our research suggests that certain modes of assessment may preferentially suit some but not all students from multidisciplinary backgrounds within the one pharmacology class.