Use of student-created video resources to enhance practical training in Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE's)

Derek Anthony Scott, Jack Kirkman, Cameron John Malcolm, Alison Jenkinson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paperpeer-review

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We have pioneered the use of Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE's) in science teaching and previously piloted 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.
As the range of disciplines being examined has expanded, the number of students participating have also increased, leading to challenges delivering the required practical skills to all students within the time and space available. Previously, students learned and practiced in advance of the examination in a large, busy all-day practical class. However, teaching delivery had the potential to be variable and some students required more time to practice. To address this, two students created a series of video teaching resources in collaboration with academic and technical staff. These training videos were created using free recording/editing software and recorded using mobile phones. Videos were no longer in duration than 5 minutes and were designed to help students understand how best to complete the tasks at each assessment station. Videos were released to students through the VLE and they were instructed to prepare prior to the practical class. Smaller groups of students were allocated to 2 hour practical classes where focussed practice time and further instruction was available.
No significant difference in mean score achieved by physiology students (2017-18 cohort, 20.11 ± 2.00, n = 43) was identified when comparing with data recorded last year from students who did not have access to the video resources (2016-17 cohort, 19.54 ± 1.26, n = 52) ( Data represents mean score ± stdev). This suggests that student performance did not suffer by reducing the practice time before the assessment. The same result was observed in a separate anatomy cohort of students when comparing performance between this and last year. Feedback recorded in the university central course evaluation forms from both physiology and anatomy students cited the OSPE assessment and the new videos as being one of the best things about their respective courses. Staff reported that use of the video resources meant that students appeared to be better prepared and less nervous, and were more focused when attending their practice sessions. Data from the VLE showed a surge in video watch time for the majority of students in the day before their assessment.
These results suggest that larger, diverse practical classes can be trained in a consistent and effective manner by using student-created video resources. Future work will involve the development of further videos for a wider range of practical skills, as well as analysing whether any correlation exists between video watch time and score achieved in the OSPE assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2018
EventEurophysiology 2018 - QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sept 201816 Sept 2018


ConferenceEurophysiology 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • OSPE
  • objective structured practical examination
  • video
  • student
  • education
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • practical training
  • practical class
  • student-led


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