Evaluation of the Effect of Items’ Format and Type on Psychometric Properties of Sixth Year Pharmacy Students Clinical Clerkship Assessment Items

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Hatim S. AlKhatibSuha Al Muhaissen

Abstract

Background Examinations are the traditional assessment tools. In addition to measurement of learning, exams are used to guide the improvement of academic programs. The current study attempted to evaluate the quality of assessment items of sixth year clinical clerkships examinations as a function of assessment items format and type/structure and to assess the effect of the number of response choices on the characteristics of MCQs as assessment items. Methods A total of 173 assessment items used in the examinations of sixth year clinical clerkships of a PharmD program were included. Items were classified as case based or noncase based and as MCQs or open-ended. The psychometric characteristics of the items were studied as a function of the Bloom’s levels addressed, item format, and number of choices in MCQs. Results Items addressing analysis skills were more difficult. No differences were found between case based and noncase based items in terms of their difficulty, with a slightly better discrimination in the latter . Open-ended items were easier, yet more discriminative. MCQs with higher number of options were easier. Open-ended questions were significantly more discriminative in comparison to MCQs as case based items while the...Continue Reading

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