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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-83

Student-generated formative assessment and its impact on final assessment in a problem-based learning curriculum

Department of Basic Sciences, College of Medicine, Sulaiman Al-Rajhi Univesity, Al Bukayriyah, Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mazhar Mushtaq
Sulaiman Al Rajhi University, Al Bukairiyah, Al-Qassim
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_98_20

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Objective: Besides modified essay questions (MEQs), well-structured multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are one of the most well-established tools for both summative and formative assessment strategies due to their applicability and objectivity. Nevertheless, the construction of high-quality MCQs is a time-intensive exercise for the medical faculty. As our curriculum in medicine is based on problem-based learning (PBL) approach wherein students are central to the process of teaching and learning, we aimed to study the beneficial effects of students' involvement in MCQ writing on their learning process. We hypothesized that the involvement of students in MCQ writing would be a motivational exercise for their improved learning. Methods: A retrospective study was designed in the medical school to analyze end-of-the-block examination feedback data from students (n = 287), spanning over three academic sessions for Block 1.4 entitled “Thinking and Doing”. The proposed activity was carried out with or without the involvement of students in MCQ writing and it formed a part of their formative assessment during the block. Results: Analysis of the students' feedback conducted by the Planning, Development, and Quality Assurance survey using Qualtrics at the end of the course, supported by the Google survey conducted by the block coordinator, showed that student performance was significantly improved when they were involved in an incentive-driven MCQ writing exercise for formative assessment and an in-depth discussion at the end of each tutorial session of their PBL curriculum during the block.Conclusions: Our data strongly support our hypothesis that the formative assessment of MCQs written by the students enhances their learning in the PBL-based curriculum.

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