A collaborative comparison of objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) standard setting methods at Australian medical schools

Bunmi Sherifat Malau-Aduli*, Peta-Ann Teague, Karen D'Souza, Clare Heal, Richard Turner, David L. Garne, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: A key issue underpinning the usefulness of the OSCE assessment to medical education is standard setting, but the majority of standard-setting methods remain challenging for performance assessment because they produce varying passing marks. Several studies have compared standard-setting methods; however, most of these studies are limited by their experimental scope, or use data on examinee performance at a single OSCE station or from a single medical school. This collaborative study between 10 Australian medical schools investigated the effect of standard-setting methods on OSCE cut scores and failure rates.Methods: This research used 5256 examinee scores from seven shared OSCE stations to calculate cut scores and failure rates using two different compromise standard-setting methods, namely the Borderline Regression and Cohen's methods.Results: The results of this study indicate that Cohen's method yields similar outcomes to the Borderline Regression method, particularly for large examinee cohort sizes. However, with lower examinee numbers on a station, the Borderline Regression method resulted in higher cut scores and larger difference margins in the failure rates.Conclusion: Cohen's method yields similar outcomes as the Borderline Regression method and its application for benchmarking purposes and in resource-limited settings is justifiable, particularly with large examinee numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1267
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume39
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • SMALL-SCALE OSCE
  • STUDENT ASSESSMENT
  • PASSING SCORES
  • COMPETENCE
  • GRADUATION
  • EDUCATION
  • TESTS

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