Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Original article / research
Table of Contents - Year : 2017 | Month : September | Volume : 11 | Issue : 9 | Page : LC10 - LC13

Use of Multi-Response Format Test in the Assessment of Medical Students Critical Thinking Ability LC10-LC13

Mahboobeh Khabaz Mafinejad, Seyyed Kamran Soltani Arabshahi, Alireza Monajemi, Mohammad Jalili, Akbar Soltani, Javad Rasouli

Dr. Seyyed Kamran Soltani Arabshahi,
Professor, Department of Medical Education, Center for Educational Research in Medical Sciences (CERMS),
Tehran-1417613151, Iran.

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.