USE OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL
AbstractBackground: Though formative assessments are popular in medical education, but data to establishtheir educational benefits are lacking. This study was conducted to determine whether participation andperformance of MBBS students in regular formative assessments are associated with positive outcomesand has measurable effects on learning. Methods: One hundred and fifty MBBS students of semester IIattending Biochemistry classes were studied by dividing into two groups till the completion of a topic.End-of-topic summative assessment marks were analysed with respect to the effect of participation andperformance in formative assessments. Results: Participation in formative assessments had astatistically significant positive relationship with summative assessment marks. Mean difference informative and summative assessment marks for group that participated in formative assessments is 1.6(95% CI=0.9–2.4, p<0.001). The mean difference in summative assessment marks for two groups is 3.4(95% CI=2.3–4.6, p<0.001). The mean difference in marks obtained by solving case studies given inSummative Assessment for two groups is 1.2 (95% CI=0.7–1.6, p<0.001). Conclusions: Formativeassessment not only assesses students’ achievements but it also enables students to recognise the areasin which they are having difficulty and to concentrate their future efforts on those areas. Adequatefrequency of formative assessment with immediate feedback is beneficial as it stimulates meaningfuland multifaceted learning. The results of this study encourage the use of formative assessment as aneducational tool in all MBBS subjects for they have significant positive effects on learning.Keywords: Formative assessment, Summative assessment, Performance, Feedback
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