Bringing objectivity to assessment in Preclinical Prosthodontics: The student's perspective on OSPE

Rajlakshmi Banerjee, Anuj Chandak, Usha Radke


Student assessment or examination  is  the  single  strongest determinant of what  students actually  learn  (as opposed
to  what  they  are  taught),  and  is  considered  to  be  uniquely  powerful  as  a  tool  for manipulating  the  whole  education
process. Traditional, age-old methods like essay/essay type questions, which suffer from lack of objectivity, are givingway to
newer objective methods of assessment  in  the form of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and such other  tools,
for assessment of cognitive domain. Current system of assessment of students in Preclinical Prosthodontics depends on the
evaluation of  the  teeth arrangement done by  the students  in  three hours and evaluation by viva voce. However  this method does
not give an overall assessment of practical work done by the student in the period of two years. There are continuous attempts
to  make  assessment  more  objective  and  reliable  rather  than  subjective. As  far  as  skills  assessment  is  concerned  the
conventional methods are not only subjective in nature, but also lack scope for direct observation of the performance of skills
by  the assessor. Moreover  the coverage of contents may be  limited. This project was undertaken  to develop Objectively
Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) module for second year students to aid in an overall assessment in Pre clinical
Prosthodontics. The OSPE module was conducted as a midterm test and student's perception about the OSPE module was
gathered in the form of feedback questionnaire through which, I it was found that assessment in Preclinical Prosthodontics by
OSPE pattern can be a very effective method  to complement  the existing examination system for formative assessment.

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