Student-created video resources can enhance medical science practical class assessment

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Increasing academic diversity and student numbers has challenged traditional delivery of core practical skills. We have pioneered the use of Objective Structured Practical Examinations in medical science teaching and previously reported successful delivery of theoretical, practical and problem-solving skills at multiple stations to formally examine a wide range of communication and science laboratory practical skills. However, teaching delivery had the potential to be variable at times and some students required more practice time. Student-led development of video resources which were released to students through the VLE, with instructions to prepare prior to the practical class, enabled smaller groups of students to be allocated to 2 hour practicals with focussed practice time and further instruction available. These training videos included topics such as ECG measurement, acid-base balance urinalysis, serial dilutions, spirometry and were created on mobile phones using free recording/editing software. Videos were no longer than 5 mins duration and were designed to help students understand how best to complete the tasks at each assessment station. There was no significant reduction in mean score achieved by physiology, anatomy and sport science students (2017-18 cohort, 20.25 ± 2.01, n = 71) compared with students who did not have access to video resources (2016-17 cohort, 19.82 ± 1.54, n = 67) (Data represents mean score ± stdev). However, there was a small but significant improvement in outcomes when comparing the 2016-17 cohort with 2018-19 (20.54 ± 1.89, p<0-05; n = 70). This suggests that student performance did not suffer from reduced practice time before the assessment and the availability of the video resource may have contributed to enhanced assessment preparation. The 2018-19 VLE showed regular use of the videos throughout the practical delivery schedule with videos accessed 2697 times in total (an average of 6.4 ± 0.03 per student). There was also a surge in video access the day before the practice and formal assessment days (36.7 ± 0.18% of students). Feedback recorded in University central course evaluation forms in 2018-19 reflected previous years with 86.34% of students positively rating the practical at 4 or 5 on a 1-5 satisfaction scale. They also cited the OSPE assessment and videos as being one of the best things about their respective courses. Staff also reported that students appeared better prepared when attending practice sessions and during the examination following use of the video resources. These results suggest that student-created video resources can contribute to delivering larger, more diverse practical classes in a consistent and time effective manner. Future work will involve the development of further videos for a wider range of practical skills and adapting this method to other traditional practicals within the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventPhysiology 2019 - Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jul 201910 Jul 2019


ConferencePhysiology 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • physiology
  • anatomy
  • pharmacology
  • OSPE
  • objective structured practical examination
  • student
  • video
  • assessment


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