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Implementing eOSCE During COVID-19 Lockdown

Elham Alshammari


Assessment is an essential component of the curriculum. When used in the right manner, it can help accomplish certain curricular goals. In medical education, assessment of clinical competence has experienced many changes in recent times, leading to the development of some newer modalities of assessment. One such method of assessment used in recent times is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, which guarantees better quality when compared to conventional clinical examination. Traditional OSCEs, however, have some shortcomings. When implemented in learning institutions with many students and inadequate time for observing and marking the performance of learners, this tool provides little opportunity for examiners to provide well-timed and individualized feedback. At the same time, universities are experiencing uncertain times with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting assessment modalities. It is, therefore, believed that improved efficiency in evaluation and provision of customized student feedback can be achieved through computerized or electronic marking systems, a case in the example being the eOSCE. In this regard, the objective of the study was to examine the implementation of eOSCE during COVID-19 lockdown in Saudi universities. The study used a sample of pharmacy faculty and examined their experience and satisfaction towards the implementation of eOSCE as a potential replacement of OSCE during university lockdown. All the study participants (100%) agreed that eOSCE saved time; 62.5% noted that eOSCE was easy to use and grade; and 12.5% preferred not to give their opinion and resorted to remain “neutral”. In sum, the study shows that eOSCE is effective in facilitating the assessment process and can be used effectively during certain and uncertain times.

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