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NJBMS - Volume 8, Issue 2, October - December 2017

Pages: 95-102
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Analysis of Pharmacology Undergraduate Examination Patterns of Medical Universities of South India

Author: J Mohan, B N Vallish, M Brahadeesh, Raj Kishore Mahato

Category: Pharmacology


Introduction: Comprehensive theoretical and practical assessment of pharmacology of 2nd MBBS students during university examinations should ideally be done across the three domains of learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor), should be sufficiently interactive, and should cover major subspecialties of pharmacology.

Aims and objectives: To analyse the undergraduate pharmacology examination pattern (theory and practical) of South Indian Universities regarding composition of different domains, extent of examiner-student interaction, and inclusion of questions from different pharmacology subspecialties

Materials and methods: Questions asked in theory and practical examination in nine different Universities from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh were categorised into (a) domain of learning, (b) interaction present/ absent, and (c) subspecialty, and analysed descriptively.

Results: Cognitive domain dominates over affective and psychomotor domains in both overall examination marks (81.69 %, 9.85 %, and 8.46 % respectively for the three domains) and in practical examination marks (87.64 %, 0.78 %, and 11.58 % respectively for the three domains). After excluding viva examination, on an average 56.88% marks awarded without interaction in practical examination. Questions from clinical pharmacology contributed 59.44 % marks during practical examinations, followed by experimental pharmacology (19.38 %), and spotters (10.91%). Only two of the nine Universities had incorporated OSPE (objective structured practical examination) exercises in their final practical examination schemes.

Conclusion: There is dominance of cognitive domain in both theory and practical examinations, and student-examiner interaction is inadequate. Examination pattern should be changed to facilitate assessment of psychomotor and affective domains of learning as well, by giving more weightage to formative assessment and OSPE exercises.

Keywords: Domains of learning, Bloom's taxonomy, Pharmacology, Practical examination, OSPE

DOI: 8205