ANALYSIS OF ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS IN SUBJECTS THAT ARE COMPLETED WITH AN EXAM IN MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM

M. Panczyk, A. Zarzeka, J. Belowska, Ł. Samoliński, J. Gotlib

Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
Introduction:
In case of Public Health Faculty, we are faced with a broad and interdisciplinary field of skills and knowledge. A process of education that has been carried out properly and comprehensive assessment of the gained competences is the basis for further research into the learning outcomes and it also allows to analyse the fate of graduates of a given major.

Aim of study:
Analysis of assessment in the subjects that are completed with an exam on the second degree studies at the faculty of Public Health.
Materials and Methods: Examination data of 565 students from the faculty of Public Health who qualified to the studies (age average 22.4 ± 1.22) concerned those who began their second degree of studies at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Medical University of Warsaw (MUW) between the years 2007-2012. Learning outcomes in nine subjects finished with an exam were analysed retrospectively and these were the following: Biostatistics, Public Health in Practice, Advances in Health Promotion, Economics, Forms of Health Care, Organisation and Management in Health Protection, Financing in Health Protection, Epidemiology.

In order to evaluate intercorrelation of learning outcomes for individual subjects, r-Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient was used. In order to determine trends in assessing students in consecutive years, Kruskal-Wallis’ non-parametre ANOVA test of ranges was applied as well as Leven’s homogeneity of variance test. For comparative analysis of dependent variables, Friedman’s non-parametre test was used with Kendall’s coefficient of concordance.

Results:
Evaluation of intercorrelation shows that for eight analysed subjects, there are positive intercorrelations between students’ learning outcomes in individual areas of Public Health. r-Pearson’s correlation coefficient remained within 0.09 and 0.44. Only in the case of Public Health in Practice there was no statistical differences in intercorrelation in the results that students obtained in two subjects (Organisation and Management in Health Protection and Law in Health Protection), and where relevance was maintained, r-Pearson’s coefficients were significantly lower than for other analysed subjects.

Analysis of internal consistency in assessing students in individual subjects in consecutive years showed that for none of the studied subjects homogeneity was observed when analysing students’ achievements (no homogeneity of variance, Leven’s test, P< 0.001 and ANOVA test of Kruskal-Wallis’ ranges, P< 0.001). Moreover, combined comparative analysis of average marks obtained by students in individual subjects between the years 2007-2012 shows that the area of knowledge that was worst-rated, was Biostatistics (average of marks 3.0 ± 0.55), whereas the best-rated one was Forms of Health Care (average of marks 4.3 ± 0.49). For the rest of subjects, students’ average marks remained within the range of 3.6 and 4.0, which points out to an average level of concordance (Kendall’s concordance coefficient 0.25).

Conclusions:
The observed lack of homogeneity in evaluating students’ achievements is the evidence of insufficient consistency in measuring learning outcomes. Critical judgement of currently used solutions allows to plan detailed evaluation of applied assessment criteria so as to diagnose the weak points in the teaching areas and evaluate reliability and accuracy of the used methods that assess competences of students at the Faculty of Public Health.