Descriptive analysis of II - MBBS university question papers of microbiology subject

Sanjay J Mehta, Kunjan M Kikani

Abstract


Introduction: Assessment is a very important component of medical education and written examination is widely used tool of assessment. The instrument used in the written examination is the “Question Paper” (QP). The QP often lacks the validity, reliability, relevance and objectivity.1,2 The present study is undertaken to assess the characteristics in construction of University question papers.

Aim and Objectives: To analyze the theory question papers of Microbiology subject of Saurashtra University, with respect to; question form, learning objectives, relevance to core syllabus, relevance to teaching hours, and language and grammatical errors.

Materials and Methods: Total 28 question papers of Saurashtra University of Microbiology subject (Mar-05 to Mar-15) were analyzed. The questions were analyzed with respect to types of question form and categorized in long answer type, short note type and short answer type. All questions were analyzed with respect to learning objectives and were classified in to three cognitive domains of learning knowledge, understanding and synthesis. All questions were analyzed to determine the focus of questions with respect to the syllabus and classified into must know, desirable to know and nice to know areas. Questions were analyzed to determine the weather questions cover the area of syllabus with regards to teaching hours dedicated. Questions were analyzed to identify the clarity and ambiguity in language, spelling and grammatical errors and scientific and taxonomic errors.

Results: There were two paper styles noted. Question papers have long answer; short note and short answer questions. 95% questions were framed to test basic knowledge level of cognitive domain, and 5% question were framed to test the understanding level, while none of the questions were framed to test the synthesis level of cognitive domain. The majority of question were framed from must know area (97%) of syllabus, while less number of questions were from desirable to know (2%) and nice to know (1%) area. 30% of teaching hours were dedicated to bacteriology section and carried 22% weightage in examination. 6% of teaching hours were dedicated to mycology section which carried 11% weightage in examination. A balance was observed for General microbiology, Immunology and Virology sections with regards to teaching hours and weightage in examination. On an average of 11.1 errors per paper was noted. Spelling errors were common (8.8) followed by taxonomic errors (2.2) and grammatical errors (0.1).

Conclusions: Major numbers of questions were subjective type than objective type. Majority of questions were framed to test basic knowledge level of cognitive domain. The majority of question were framed from must know area of syllabus which may have poor discriminatory ability between low and high achievers. A balance was observed for General microbiology, Immunology and Virology sections for dedicated teaching hours and its weightage in examination while Bacteriology has less and Parasitology and Mycology has more weightage in comparison to teaching hours. Many different types of errors were noted in question papers which include spelling errors, taxonomic errors and grammatical errors. A standard “Blue Print” is essential to bring the uniform standard in theory examination.

 

Keywords: Question paper analysis, Blue-printing.

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References


Medical Education Technology Workbook, Christian Medical College, Vellore.

Medical education, Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition (JIPMER).

Curricula for II-MBBS, Microbiology, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

Curriculum – Microbiology; Guidelines, Medical Council of India.

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