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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 173-176

Students’ response to implementation of ‘OSPE’ as a tool for assessment of practical skills of undergraduates in the subject of anatomy

Department of Anatomy, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Campus, N-6, CIDCO, Aurangabad, Maharashtra 431003, India

Date of Submission12-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance27-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Smita Shinde
Department of Anatomy, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Campus, N-6, CIDCO, Aurangabad, Maharashtra 431003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_15_22

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Introduction: For evaluating the practical knowledge of the students, objective structured practical examination (OSPE) has been used as a tool several times. The assessment of the student’s potential in different ways is a part of medical education. The practical examination is a typical method of assessment of practical and clinical skills but it lacks an assessment of the psychomotor and communication skills of the student. OSPE formats address these lacunae of the current system. However, it is necessary to assess the OSPE from a student’s perspective. The current study is designed to obtain the student’s opinion regarding OSPE as a tool of assessment in practical examinations. Aims and Objectives: To determine the opinion of students about OSPE as a tool among1st-year medical undergraduates to assess the teaching-learning process in anatomy. Materials and Methods: 150 first-year undergraduates of competency-based medical education (CBME) batch of 2019–20 from the Department of Anatomy of MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, India were chosen for assessing practical skills. A structured questionnaire was designed and distributed among them to collect the required data to assess students’ evaluation of the OSPE. Results and Observations: A total of 150 questionnaires were filled by students with a 90% response rate. The majority of the students favored the inclusion of OSPEas as an assessment tool in the final examinations. Conclusion: The study reveals that the majority of the students (68%) have found OSPE as an acceptable tool. The OSPE is reliable for formative as well as a summative assessment for undergraduate medical students.

Keywords: Assessment tool, methods of examination, OSPE, OSPE in anatomy, practical examination

How to cite this article:
Shinde S, Shroff GA, Gulanikar S, Kadam S. Students’ response to implementation of ‘OSPE’ as a tool for assessment of practical skills of undergraduates in the subject of anatomy. MGM J Med Sci 2022;9:173-6

How to cite this URL:
Shinde S, Shroff GA, Gulanikar S, Kadam S. Students’ response to implementation of ‘OSPE’ as a tool for assessment of practical skills of undergraduates in the subject of anatomy. MGM J Med Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 29];9:173-6. Available from: http://www.mgmjms.com/text.asp?2022/9/2/173/347685

  Introduction Top

Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) is mostly used in the evaluation of student practical knowledge.[1] Human architecture is studied by medical undergraduates in the subject of human anatomy for almost a century in a conventional way which was always considered tedious by the students. With the recent new teaching methods, the focus has now shifted towards problem-based learning and more practical skills.[2],[3] The objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE) is a methodology for the assessment of clinical skills and from that the OSPE is adapted.

Assessment of the cognitive domain has changed from a more subjective type, like long essay questions to a more objective pattern by using multiple-choice questions (MCQs)/short answers.[3] Traditional practical examinations (TPE) are a typical way of assessing students’ performance and also the communication skills of medical students.

The ‘Objective Structured Clinical Examination’(OSCE), as a method of assessment, was introduced by Harden (1975) at Dundee University..[4] It consists of several ‘stations’ in which examiners are expected to perform various skills at a specific time. It also helps in the demonstration of different skills and attitudes by the students such as handling the microscope in histology, holding different organs in anatomical positions, etc. In addition, it helps in fairness and consistency in questioning and evaluation of all students. Many studies have shown that OSPE is a valid evaluation tool and decreases examiner bias in various levels of medical education.[5]

In the preceding few years, the importance of students’ feedback regarding the assessment methods in medical studies has been increasingly recognized by researchers.[6],[7],[8] According to researchers It is a multipurpose versatile evaluation tool considered to meet the shortcomings of the conventional system of practical examination.[9]

Aims and objectives

To determine the opinion of students about OSPE as a tool among1st-year medical undergraduates to assess the teaching-learning process in anatomy.

  Materials and methods Top

In the present study, 150 students of 1st MBBS (2019–20 Batch) were included. OSPE was conducted in different aspects of the subject anatomy. The syllabus for OSPE was decided. Each faculty member was asked to structure 6–8 questions to assess cognitive, problem solving, and analytical skills and each question has 3–4 objectives questions. The checklist of each question was prepared. Diagrams of Histology, Embryology models and figures of muscles were taken from the recommended  Atlas More Details.

The questions were made in six sets. Students were informed to prepare for a particular portion of the subject well in advance before exams. students were primed with the methodology of OSPE. The different stations of OSPE were created. Each OSPE station was of 5 minutes duration including the resting station. Each day we considered taking 75 students for evaluation. Before the examination, the timetable is displayed on the board. The exam is conducted. After obtaining the Institutional ethical clearance, a questionnaire is prepared consisting of a set of 5 questions. A questionnaire was distributed to 150 First year MBBS students CBME batch. The students were well informed beforehand about the questionnaire to clear their doubts about each point.

  Results and observations Top

A total of 150 questionnaires [Table 1] were filled out by students with a 90% response rate. In OSPE, sufficient time was given to each spot. 71.2% of the students said that the time was sufficient and 28.8% said time was not sufficient [Figure 1]. About93.3% found the OSPE format helpful [Figure 2]. 94.8% of the students observed OSPE as a helpful tool for further learning [Figure 3]. 57% of the students found the preparation and writing exam was stress-free whereas 43% found it stressful [Figure 4]. About 68% of students thought that OSPE should be included as a tool for the assessment in the final exam, the remaining 31% did not want OSPE to be included in the final exam [Figure 5]. The software used for the assessment of the questionnaire is google sheets.
Table 1: Responses of participants to questionnaires

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Figure 1: Time is given to spot

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Figure 2: Self-assessment

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Figure 3: Future learning

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Figure 4: Stress of students during exam

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Figure 5: Method of assessment in the final exam

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  Discussion Top

OSPE was conducted for first-year MBBS students and was evaluated with a feedback questionnaire. 150 students were assessed through this study and the progress was observed in the mean marks obtained as it was in OSPE. Improvement in overall performance was observed in more than 50% of students facing OSPE. Few of the students did not show any change.

The feedback forms are the most important and useful basis for modifying and improving medical education. This type of evaluation is to assess the areas of strength and or lacunae of teaching methodologies to rectify the difficulties and revise the curriculum suitably.[5],[10],[11]

In general, students show a recognition regarding and its wide coverage of learning objectives. It also helps students to understand the subject and helped them to learn basic practical skills.[1] According to JabeenF. et.al.,[12] “about 88% of students felt that this format helps them to identify their weak areas and 80% gained confidence over the subject.” OSPE was found to be less stressful than a regular exam by a large number of the students. Student perceptions concerning improvement in their practice were positive as the majority of the students perceived OSPE to be good or satisfactory. Previous studies also revealed similar findings as in this study.[5],[13],[14]

  Conclusion Top

The study reveals that the majority of the students (68%) have found OSPE as an acceptable tool as it is reliable and feasible for formative as well as a summative assessment for undergraduates. In nutshell, it can be safely said that OSPE emerged as a better tool in terms of assessment and performance.

Ethical consideration

The Ethics Committee for Research on Human Subjects (ECRHS) of MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India has approved the proposal for the clinical study entitled “To determine the implementation of OSPE as a tool of formative assessment in the Department of Anatomy” in its meeting held on 21st May 2021 and communicated vide letter no. MGM-ECRHS/2021/13 Dated 21st May 2021.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shankar PR, Gurung SB, Jha N, Bajracharya O, Ansari SR, Thapa HS Practical assessment in pharmacology at New Nepalese Medical School. J Clin Diagn Res 2010;4:3314-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Rajan R, Jain A, RashmiBhujade R OSPE in anatomy: New dimension in assessment. Int J Anat Res 2016;4:1789-94.  Back to cited text no. 2
Davis MH AMEE medical education guide no. 15: Problem-based learning: A practical guide. Med Teach 1999;21: 130-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
Harden RM, Stevenson M, Downie WW, Wilson GM Assessment of clinical competence using objective structured examination. Br Med J 1975;1:447-51.  Back to cited text no. 4
Rao RD, Babu PU, Chakravarthy KCV, Ramya N Objective structure practical examination as a tool in formative assessment of II MBBS students in pathology. IntJResMedSci 2018;6:221-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ross M, Carroll G, Knight J, Chamberlain M, Fothergill-Bourbonnais F, Linton J Using the OSCE to measure clinical skills performance in nursing. J Adv Nurs 1988;13:45-56.  Back to cited text no. 6
Singleton A, Smith F, Harris T, Ross-Harper R, Hilton S An evaluation of the team objective structured clinical examination (TOSCE). Med Educ 1999;33:34-41.  Back to cited text no. 7
Mossey PA, Newton JP, Stirrups DR Scope of the OSCE in the assessment of clinical skills in dentistry. Br Dent J 2001;190:323-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
Kundu D, Das HN, Sen G, Osta M, Mandal T, Gautam D Objective structured practical examination in biochemistry: An experience in medical college, kolkata. J Nat Sci Biol Med 2013;4:103-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Verhoeven BH, Hamers JG, Scherpbier AJ, Hoogenboom RJ, van der Vleuten CP The effect on reliability of adding a separate written assessment component to an objective structured clinical examination. Med Educ 2000;34:525-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
Rafique S, Rafique H Students’ feedback on teaching and assessment at nishtar medical college, multan. J Pak Med Assoc 2013;63:1205-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
Jabeen F, Zia S, Riaz S Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE), As A Tool For The Assessment Of Practical Skills Of Undergraduate M.B.B.S Students. J Univ Med Dent Coll 2016;7:1-5. Available from: http://www.jumdc.com/index.php/jumdc/article/view/181.  Back to cited text no. 12
Deshpande RP, Motghare VM, PAdwal SL, Bjamare CG, Rathod SS, Pore RR A review of objective structured practical examination (OSPE) in Pharmacology at a rural medical college. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol 2013;2:629-33.  Back to cited text no. 13
Manjula A, Shashikala P, Nagaraj P Students perception on objective structured practical examination in pathology. J Med Educ Res 2013;1:12-4.  Back to cited text no. 14


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

  [Table 1]


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