Title: ARE FIRST YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS DISTRACTED BY ON-SCREEN EXAMS IN RELATION TO ON-PAPER EXAMS

Issue Number: Vol. 4, No. 2
Year of Publication: 2014
Page Numbers: 79-90
Authors: Mohammed Amanullah, Ayyub Patel, Khalid Mohanna, Sarah Afaq
Journal Name: International Journal of New Computer Architectures and their Applications (IJNCAA)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/p008

Abstract:


Assessment over the electronic media has been questioned for its validity and sensitivity, especially for the purpose of evaluating a student at the university level, though not for competitive exams. On-screen visibility, readability and interpretation during an exam are under cynicism as compared to paper. We have undertaken the evaluation of the effectiveness of on-screen examinations in comparison to pen and paper exams. Both on-screen and on-paper exams were conducted during November 2013, enrolling 180 students. These were divided into 61 male students taking an on-paper exam, immediately followed by the on-screen exam with the same set of questions. Similarly a batch of 57 girl students took an initial exam on-paper and then the same questions were displayed on the screen. 31 students were given on-screen exam only, and yet another 31 students took on-paper exams only. Comparing the results obtained various exams conducted indicated that there was considerable distraction among first year medical students over the on-screen exams. The scores obtained were graded as "A" for 90-100% marks, "B", "C", "D" and "F" for 80-89%, 70-79%, 60-69% and 0-60% respectively. Hogana (2007) formulae was used to calculate the distraction index (DI) wherein the % of students scoring highest grade was subtracted with the % of students scoring lowest grade. Distraction by the students in a particular exam was assessed by a negative value of DI and vice-versa. A remarkable distraction in the on-screen exams with a DI of -33 between on-paper and on-screen exams was observed. 29% of the students scored "A" grade in the on-paper exam whereas in the on-screen exam only 19% were able to obtain this grade. Analysis of the date about students failing ("F" grade) in the exam revealed that only 3% of students failed in the on-paper exam as compared to 26% in the on-screen exam. More time was taken by the students for completing the exam on-screen which was 46 minutes as compared to on-paper exam, where the average time taken to complete the exam was only 36 minutes. In conclusion we can say that there will definitely be some degree of distraction during the on-screen exams as compared to on-paper exams. More studies are needed to conclude the exact degree of distraction over the on-screen exams with a wide population of universal students.