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An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) allows students to demonstrate their skills in a clinical scenario.
The OSCE is a series of exam stations that students complete. They spend a specific amount of time on each station, allowing examiners to assess clinical skills and clinical reasoning abilities (Daniels & Pugh, 2018).
OSCE is a useful type of assessment when you want students to demonstrate competency in:
Follow these steps to develop an effective OSCE assessment.
Decide the task and skills to be examined.
Create a blueprint. For example, if the goal is to assess clinical skills then the blueprint should include stations that reflect that. This helps to ensure that one can generalise performance on these stations to the learner’s ability to perform other history and physical examinations in an OSCE.
Decide the number of stations needed. Ten to fifteen stations are ideal, with 6-10 minutes allocated per station.
Develop a case that represents the clinical problem you want students to overcome.
Consider details such as:
Make sure all resources for the OSCE are in place, including a marking rubric. Develop the rubric as a checklist or a rating scale.
Scoring can be dichotomous (e.g. did or did not do) or polytomous (e.g. done well, attempted but not done well, not done).
Prepare staff and helpers:
Determine the day/period of exam or allocate individual times to students.
Review the arrangement of the exam. Consider taking help from a subject matter expert/colleague to make sure the OSCE reflects the desired learning outcome.