Original Research

The online mock OSCE - a mixed-methods analysis of its benefits and overall student experience

Authors:

Abstract

Background The social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in an inability to deliver traditional, face-to-face Mock OSCEs; a means of clinical skill learning that has been shown to be beneficial to students. This study investigated the ability of an Online Mock OSCE to replace the in-person format and assessed whether similar benefits could be obtained by this method of delivery. Methods A student-run Online Mock OSCE was designed and rolled out to Year 2 undergraduate medical students; a questionnaire was then distributed to 43 students who consented to be involved in the research. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, with interpretation carried out via paired sample t-tests and supplementary thematic analysis. Results Comparison of pre-and-post-OSCE scores demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety both towards summative OSCEs with similar stations and with different stations. Student confidence levels and self-reported retention of clinical skills showed statistically significant increases as a result of the Online Mock OSCE. Students had a strongly positive opinion of the process; analysis of written responses identified the provision of useful feedback on clinical skills, allowance of recognition of knowledge gaps, and enablement of increased familiarity with the assessment process as common justifications for this. Conclusions The Online Mock OSCE represents an excellent alternative to face-to-face delivery; it is well-received by students and offers a number of benefits, including decreased anxiety levels, increased confidence and improved self-reported retention of clinical skills, alongside logistical advantages of the online process. This study gives evidence for its continuing adaptation and inclusion within the medical curriculum even as in-person practice becomes feasible once more, such are the extensive assets it offers, and the potential for the method to be utilised within blended learning.

Keywords:

online educationMock OSCEOSCEclinical skillsclinical educationcontemporary methods
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 2-13
  • DOI: 10.18573/bsdj.307
  • Published on 1 Dec 2022
  • Peer Reviewed