Comparative assessment of students’ performance and perceptions on objective structured practical models in undergraduate pathology teaching

Than Than Htwe, Sabaridah Binti Ismail, Gary Kim Kuan Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION Assessment is an important factor that drives student learning, as students tend to mainly focus on the material to be assessed. The current practice in teaching pathology extensively applies objective-structured practical examination for the assessment of students. As students will have to deal with real patients during clinical years, it is preferred that students learn and practise via potted specimens and slides instead of picture plates. This study aimed to assess the preferred assesment method of pathology practical exercises.

METHODS This was a cross-sectional survey carried out in two consecutive batches of Phase 2 medical students. Student competency was assessed using both the traditional (TD) (i.e. use of potted specimens and slides) and picture plate (PP) methods. To compare the two assessment methods, we compared the mean scores obtained by the students and examined student perception of the two methods.

RESULTS The mean scores obtained via the PP method were significantly higher than those obtained via the TD method for almost all the components tested.

CONCLUSION We found that students performed significantly better (p < 0.05) when assessed using the PP method instead of the TD method. PP preparations might provide better visuals, thus aiding understanding, than the TD method. The findings of this study are valuable in identifying and improving our current teaching and assessment methods of medical students, in line with advancements in information technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-505
Number of pages4
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • OSPE
  • Pathology
  • Undergraduate medical students

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