STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THE USE OF COMPUTER-BASED SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT IN A MEDICAL FACULTY

P. Atherley, A. Atherley

The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (BARBADOS)
Background:
Computer based assessments (CBA) have both advantages and disadvantages for use in medical education. Student perceptions of CBA are important to allow faculty to address students’ concerns. This is important to ensure relative comfort during examinations, particularly when CBA is used for summative assessment. We report on students’ perceptions of CBA for summative assessment in a medical faculty.

Methods:
CBA was utilized in two courses within the medicine (MBBS) programme at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. One course was pre-clinical and the other was a clinical end-of-clerkship examination. Students participated voluntarily in a post-examination, web-based survey. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and were analysed using thematic analysis and Stata v.13 respectively.

Results:
Clinical students were significantly more positive when initially informed about CBA being used for their examination (p=0.01). Three themes emerged from thematic analysis: technology trepidations, student & staff related issues and taking the test. Students’ anxieties surrounding CBAs included being concerned about the possibility of technical failures affecting their grades, inability to make notes during the examination, and concerns about privacy and comfort.