Use of Multi-Response Format Test in the Assessment of Medical Students Critical Thinking Ability LC10-LC13
Dr. Seyyed Kamran Soltani Arabshahi,
Professor, Department of Medical Education, Center for Educational Research in Medical Sciences (CERMS),
Introduction: To evaluate students critical thinking skills effectively, change in assessment practices is must. The assessment of a student’s ability to think critically is a constant challenge, and yet there is considerable debate on the best assessment method. There is evidence that the intrinsic nature of open and closed-ended response questions is to measure separate cognitive abilities.
Aim: To assess critical thinking ability of medical students by using multi-response format of assessment.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a group of 159 undergraduate third-year medical students. All the participants completed the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) consisting of 34 multiple-choice questions to measure general critical thinking skills and a researcher-developed test that combines open and closed-ended questions. A researcher-developed 48-question exam, consisting of 8 short-answers and 5 essay questions, 19 Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ), and 16 True-False (TF) questions, was used to measure critical thinking skills. Correlation analyses were performed using Pearsons coefficient to explore the association between the total scores of tests and subtests.
Results: One hundred and fifty-nine students participated in this study. The sample comprised 81 females (51%) and 78 males (49%) with an age range of 20±2.8 years (mean 21.2 years). The response rate was 64.1%. A significant positive correlation was found between types of questions and critical thinking scores, of which the correlations of MCQ (r=0.82) and essay questions (r=0.77) were strongest. The significant positive correlations between multi-response format test and CCTST’s subscales were seen in analysis, evaluation, inference and inductive reasoning. Unlike CCTST subscales, multi-response format test have weak correlation with CCTST total score (r=0.45, p=0.06).
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of considering multi-response format test in the assessment of critical thinking abilities of medical students by using both open and closed-ended response questions.