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Abstract

The Impact of Test Blueprint Transparency of Hematology Course on Students’ Evaluation and Final Grades

Author(s): Fahad AS Aleidan

Abstract

Background: Test blueprint, sometimes referred as table of specifications, is rarely used in the construction of traditional summative assessments in medical schools.

Objectives: To assess the impact of releasing test blueprints on students’ attitudes towards the Hematology block evaluation.

Methods: The test blueprints for the mid-block and final written examinations were released and well explained at the start of hematology block by the block chief coordinator in 2016. These students from the 2016 cohort serve as the “after blueprint released group”, while students in 2015 cohort serve as “before blueprint released group”. The end of block evaluation was used for the mid-block and final examinations, using a 5-point Likert scale.

Result: In the mid-block examination, there was significant difference in the number (%) of students rating the course evaluation, with a comprehensive coverage of the content taught [119 (82.1) versus 83 (62.9), p<0.001] and with overall fairness of the examination [120 (82.8) versus 90 (68.2), p=0.005] between the after test blueprint released group and the before released group. Similarly, in the final examination, there was significant difference in the number (%) of students rating the course evaluation with a comprehensive coverage of the content taught [127 (87.6) vs 80 (60.6), p<0.001] and with overall fairness of the examination [123 (84.8) versus 95 (72.0), p=0.009]. The mean (± SD) mark of the after test blueprint released group was significantly higher than the before test blueprint released group [88.7 (± 8.50) versus 82.95 (± 9.75), p<0.0001].

Conclusion: The release of the test blueprint at the beginning of the hematology block improved the students’ perception of the fairness and comprehensiveness of the final examination and also led to their higher mean level of performance.