Online assessment for the final year medical students during COVID-19 pandemics; the exam quality and students' performance


Author(s): Bahaeldin Hassan*, Ayed A. Shati, Abdulaziz Alamri, Ayyub Patel, Ali Alsuheel Asseri, Muhammed Abid, Saleh M. Al-Qahatani and Ismaeel Satti

Background: Saudi Arabia responded to corona virus (COVID 19) pandemic earlier, the decision of lockdown taken in March 2020, and education and assessment were continued through E-learning since that time. Objectives: We aimed to assess the quality of online MCQs test taken by final medical students after COVID 19 pandemic and to review student’s performance in online assessment. Methods: This study was carried out in the college of medicine, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia, participants were undergraduate final year medical students who completed their four major clinical courses. Item analysis parameters of the online MCQs test were compared with the item analysis parameters of the paper-based tests. Paper-based tests assessed the cohort of students in semester one before COVID 19 pandemic lockdown. The overall student’s performance on classical, face to face assessment was compared with the performance on an online assessment. Chi-square test was used P values < 0:05 considered as statistically significant. Results: In two courses out of four, the test reliability of online MCQs tests improved significantly compared with paper-based tests. Three courses out of four showed significantly increased average discrimination indices among the online MCQs items. The average difficulty indices of all courses increased significantly in online MCQs tests. We observed that out of a maximum raw score of 100, the mean student’s score for online assessment in three courses was significantly higher than that for traditional assessment. Conclusion: we studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on assessment of final year medical students. Online MCQs approved to be more reliable, better discrimination ability, but easier than paper-based examination. The overall student’s performance in theoretical and practical assessment was significantly improved in online assessment.

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Awards Nomination

Editors List

  • Prof. Elhadi Miskeen

    Obstetrics and Gynaecology Faculty of Medicine, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia

  • Ahmed Hussien Alshewered

    University of Basrah College of Medicine, Iraq

  • Sudhakar Tummala

    Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering SRM University – AP, Andhra Pradesh




  • Alphonse Laya

    Supervisor of Biochemistry Lab and PhD. students of Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemis


  • Fava Maria Giovanna


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