Comparative Evaluation of Pharmacology Question Papers in Medical Colleges Affiliated to Different Universities in North India along with Recommendations
The present study was taken up for comparative evaluation of pharmacology question papers in medical colleges affiliated to different universities in North India.
Past five years (2007–2011) university question papers for written assessment of second professional regular batch medical students in pharmacology were collected from five different medical colleges in North India. The question papers were analysed for domains of learning and comprehension assessed, topics covered, type of questions [essay type questions (ETQs), short answer questions (SAQs) or multiple choice questions (MCQs)], printing mistakes, non-pharmacological questions, choice in questions, question on clinical therapeutics, number of papers each year, division of syllabus in each paper along with total time and maximum marks allotted.
It was revealed that question papers for written assessment from different medical colleges were not uniform in respect to their content and pattern. It was observed that maximum questions (>85%) in each of the medical colleges are based on assessment of only knowledge and comprehension of student. Not much importance was given to assessment of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation domains of learning. Maximum questions (>50%) are ETQs in each medical college. There was variation in percentage of questions asked on each topic among different colleges. Non-pharmacological questions (1–13%) and printing mistakes (1–7%) were also present in question papers. There was discrepancy regarding choice in questions, division of syllabus and total time allotted in question papers from different colleges.
Such comparative evaluation throws light on how question papers on same subject from different paper-setters vary. It is recommended that workshops should be organised at national level to bring together competent and motivated teachers who can draw common consensus on design of the question papers. It is also recommended that a system should be developed for centralised moderation of question papers at national level. This would definitely result in more uniformity in acquisition of knowledge of pharmacology among all medical students across the country along with uniformity in their assessment.
Comparative evaluation, Pharmacology, Question papers.