Use of Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE's) to assess science students' practical skills and graduate attributes.

Activity: Disseminating Research Invited talk


Invited seminar talk for Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia.


Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE’s) are assessments of theoretical, practical and problem-solving skills at multiple stations which are frequently used to evaluate clinical practical skills. Although non-clinical disciplines rarely use this successful assessment style, we have adapted this format to assess a wide range of communication, ethics, numeracy, graphic interpretation and science laboratory practical skills. This approach helps to prepare students for research projects and enhances graduate attributes and employability skills.

This presentation will explore how the concept was refined over several years, how we overcame resistance from colleagues to try something different, and why student demand has meant its gradual expansion across multiple science degree programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Period6 Jul 2022
Held atUniversity of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • OSPE
  • practical teaching
  • skills
  • assessment
  • authentic assessment
  • lab teaching
  • non-technical skills
  • graduate attributes