07.   Practical experiences of OSPE/OSCE

Assessments are tools to identify areas of weakness or strength and helps to correct or develop.


Homepage - OSCE and OSPE

Compiled Responses

 The Beginning

 01.   Introduction and Basics of OSPE/OSCE

 02.   Is OSPE glorified spotting.. 

  03.   How to set up OSCE and OSPE stations..

 04.   How to collect the answer-sheets in OSCE/OSPE from students.

 05.   OSCE reliability

 06.   Levels of competencies in evaluation

 07.   Practical experiences of OSPE/OSCE

 08.   OSCE in testing Communication and attitudes

  09   Should knowledge be accessed in OSCE/OSPE

 10.   Simulated patients

 11. Examiner training...a must to do...

12.   Standard setting in OSCE

 13.   Disadvantages of OSCE


Practical experiences of OSPE/OSCE

Praveen: Can we share our own practical experiences of OSPE/OSCE and also percentage of weightage given to it and whether it is in summative or formative or both?

Kalyan: I have firsthand experience of evaluation through OSPE in Biochemistry during my residency in JIPMER. There it is used both in formative as well as in summative form and the entire practical examination was OSPE based and thus total allotted 40 marks was used. There used to be ten stations and two extra resting stations and each operating station used to carry 4 marks with some structured questions and some practical skills to be observed by the examiners posted there and some interpretation based stations. The exam used to end with the instant feedback from the examiners particularly at formative evaluation.
 As far as I know, JIPMER being the sole NTTC institute at present, adopted this system quite early and using successfully. I must emphasize that OSPE is not merely a glorified spotting rather it requires active involvement of the teachers while forming the OSPE and I believe it is definitely superior to conventional practical examination, because of the near absolute objectivity. Only potential demerit of such system is that without proper formulation and proper implementation it may backfire and may lose discrimination capacity.

Sajjad:I think same type is exercised in conducting PLAB and USMLE EXAMS In U.K.and U.S.A.

Can Dr. Harpreet and Dr Bhatti share some experience of OSCE in ophthalmology.

Praveen:Nice sharing your experience, what is NTTC by the way?
It’s very true that it is not a glorified spotting & requires very careful planning.
Does your present institute adopt this method?
At our place we have currently dept. of Physiology doing this mainly for their formative exams. In our Anatomy department, we have properly structured spotting currently going on which matches more with question stations of OSPE. But we are planning this time in Anatomy for the formative exam to introduce OSPE for the surface marking & Joint articulation and movements.

Kalyan: Thanks for sharing your experience. OSCE is all about measuring outcomes. OSCE is most suitable for formative assessment.
Any comments?

Barathi Subramaniam: NTTC is National Teacher Training Centre started by our own Dr DK Srinvas. The main objectives of NTTC are:

  • To promote the training of teachers of health professionals in educational science and technology.
  • To promote the development and application of educational processes such as educational planning, curriculum development, teaching techniques, instructional materials, evaluation and continuing education.
  • To keep the teachers up date in their own specialties.

The centre publishes two issues of the Bulletin one in March and another in September, since 1996.

Kalyan Goswami: Nice to see you back in form. I do agree that OSPE/ OSCE is a good medium of formative evaluation as the chance of providing instant feed back is in-built. However that does not exclude it to be used for summative as well. It was in fact used in JIPMER for both quite successfully. Now the new curriculum proposed by DGHS has also favoured that. The beauty of transparent objectivity in this method is worth exploiting in any evaluation set-up, but obviously with proper implementation.

Barathi: Yes. I feel nice back to be on Listrserve and also to get quick response from you of your NTTC experience. I did not deny that it shouldn’t be used for summative but I find it more appropriate for Formative. I do agree it could be used for both forms of assessment. It depends on what you want to assess.
The OSCE is all about "measuring outcomes" and as you point out it provides instant feedback. Let me add that it is a very specific feedback for candidates and also faculty who taught them in addition also to the exam setter.

Praveen: Thanks for the information.
Yes, you are right OSPE is more appropriate for formative assessment at least initially in the learning phases, as in this we have enough time & manpower to prepare the stations and we can properly prepare the checklists as everybody is available.
But in summative ones when external examiner comes, he may not be well versed with this, there is paucity of time for preparation as the external may like to see everything for himself, he may not like his restricted direct practical exposure with the students and also less no. of manpower can be utilised as we have to maintain full confidentiality in university exams.

Suman Singh : You are very true OSCE or OSPE can be more useful in formative assessment as we get a chance to observe our students learning step by step, but if we assess them throughout by these methods then the summative assessment also has to be the same.
In JIPMER what percentage was evaluated through OSPE?What were the other modalities used along with OSPE?

We are not yet doing it in our department. We have spotting.  We are planning to introduce step by step OSPE stations during spots and then gradually replace the whole spots.
Do you have any experience of Group or team OSPE/OSCE?

Can we learn through somebody’s experience?

Bharti U: OSPE can be used even for summative assessment if we have sufficient number of OSPE ready which as u say during formative assessment the manpower can frame.
These can all be shown to the external examiner and he can pick up for spotting or otherwise.
It is the same pattern that for clinical exam the cases are chosen and left for the examiners to be decides on the last day for being given to the students. The only difficulty is that to decide for an activity u may need 1:5 ratio so that a wider choice is available

Dinesh: We do in pharmacology in CMC. We do it formative as well as summative assessment.
The weightage is 30% of practical exercises.

Bharti U: Here at CMC Ludhiana we have in subject of Biochemistry a weightage to OSPE as 25% for both formative and summative assessment




Discussion Summary


Origin and evolution of OSCE

What is OSCE OSPE..

Important terminologies OSCE and OSPE

Process - OSCE and OSPE


Advantages OSCE and OSPE

Limitation OSCE and OSPE

The final words