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Objective vs. subjective in assessment Jaime Correia de Sousa, MD, MPH Horizonte Family Health Unit Matosinhos Health Centre - Portugal Health Sciences School (ECS) University of Minho, Braga - Portugal
Objectives At the end of this session the participant will: Know the definition of assessment Name the different purposes of assessment Identify types of assessment Distinguish the difference between objective and subjective assessment
Definition of assessment Assessment the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs. It is often used in an educational context (to refer, e.g., to the work of institutional researchers), but it applies to other fields as well (such as health and finance). In: Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Formative and summative assessments Summative Assessment is generally carried out at the end of a course or project. In an educational setting, summative assessments are typically used to assign students a course grade.
Formative and summative assessments Formative Assessment is generally carried out throughout a course or project Formative assessment is used to aid learning. In an educational setting, formative assessment might be a teacher (or peer) or the learner, providing feedback on a student's work, and would not necessarily be used for grading purposes.
Purposes of assessment
Judging mastery of essential skills and knowledge Measuring improvements over time Ranking students Diagnosing student difficulties Evaluating the teaching methods Evaluating the effectiveness of the course Motivating students to study Newble D, Cannon R. A Handbook for Medical Teachers, 1994
Assessment methods The method used should have three basic requirements: 1.Validity – does it measure what it is supposed to measure? 2.Reliability – does it produce consistent results? 3.Practicability – is it practical in terms of time and resources? Newble D, Cannon R. A Handbook for Medical Teachers, 1994
Types of assessment 1.Essay 2.Short-answer 3.Structured (written) 4.Objective (multiple choice, true- false) 5.Direct observation 6.Oral 7.Structured (practical / clinical) 8.Self-assessment Newble D, Cannon R. A Handbook for Medical Teachers, 1994
Objective and subjective assessment Objective assessment is a form of questioning which has a single correct answer.
Objective and subjective assessment Subjective assessment is a form of questioning which may have more than one current answer (or more than one way of expressing the correct answer).
Methods that are more Subjective Essay Short-answer Direct observation Checklists Rating forms Oral Newble D, Cannon R. A Handbook for Medical Teachers, 1994
Methods that are more Objective Structured (written) Patient management problem (PMP) Modified essay question (MEQ) Objective tests Multiple-choice questions (MCQ) True-false, matching OSCE Newble D, Cannon R. A Handbook for Medical Teachers, 1994
The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) The aim of the OSCE is to test clinical and communication skills It is designed so that an examiner can observe the student / learner putting these skills into practice.
The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) It is an assessment tool in which the components of clinical competence such as history taking physical examination simple procedures interpretation of lab results patient management problems communication attitude are tested using agreed check lists and rotating the student round a number of stations some which have observers with cheek lists.
Morrison, J. BMJ 2003;326:385-387
Conclusion A combination of subjective and objective assessment tools can be used Formative assessment can use more subjective methods that facilitate teacher- learner interaction Summative assessment requires more objective tests.
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