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Analysis of quality of test items and students’ perception of the online formative tests in Anatomy

Nilesh Kumar Mitra, Umesh Bindal, Shajan Koshy.

Objectives: This study was planned to assess the quality of test items of online tests in Anatomy using quiz statistics
indices of Moodle software and to compare the perception of the students of two consecutive cohorts towards the online
formative tests in Anatomy. Methods: The study was conducted among two consecutive cohorts (n=45) of first year
medical students in a medical school in Malaysia. Five online MCQ tests on different Anatomy topics were given during the
16 weeks time of semester 1. Using quiz report statistics, mean grade, facility index (FI, difficulty level) and discrimination
index (DI) of the test items were computed. At the end of the semester, the students were given questionnaire to assess
their perception. A descriptive cross sectional design was adopted, frequencies were calculated followed by crosstabulations
and analyzed with Chi-square distribution test. Results: Except one test, mean FI of all the tests remained in
the acceptable range of 30 to 80%. Mean grade in the consecutive tests changed proportional to the increase or decrease
of the ease of the test items. Mean DI was found to be in acceptable range (0.3 or more) only in two tests in first cohort
and three tests in second cohort. The study found 62% and 61% of students in first and second cohort agreed that online
tests helped them to understand position of preparation in Anatomy. No significant difference was observed between the
perceptions of students of two consecutive cohorts towards the online test helping their preparation in Anatomy (Chisquare
test, P=0.092). Conclusion: Automated quiz statistics of Moodle software can be used to assess the difficulty
and discrimination levels of the test items in online formative tests. The study also reflected a positive perception of the
majority of year 1 medical students towards the online formative assessment in Anatomy.

Key words: Quiz statistics, Formative tests, Moodle, Facility Index, Discrimination Index, Students’ perception

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Journal of Contemporary Medical Education


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