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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-208

Hybrid assessment as a formative assessment tool for undergraduates in pathology: An untapped boon during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Pathology, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India
2 Medical Education Unit, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sabina Khan
Department of Pathology, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi - 110 062
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_126_22

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Background: The online portal has been a vital tool for both teaching as well as assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic. While being the only safe option available during this period, online assessment has its own drawbacks. Students have access to their books as well as the internet; therefore, there is no regulation over plagiarism, compromising the reliability of the examination. On the other hand, traditional offline assessment, apart from issues of safety during the pandemic, also requires a substantial infrastructure. Aims: The study was conducted to explore the possibility of using a hybrid assessment method-an online examination in an offline setting-with the aim of compensating the shortcomings of both type of assessments and evaluating its potential as a formative assessment tool. Settings and Design: The study was conducted over a period of 1 month in the Department of Pathology of a Medical College of New Delhi. A batch of 100 students belonging to the second professional MBBS were evaluated toward the end of their fifth semester. Materials and Methods: A blueprint of the online practical examination was prepared by the faculty, including the entire syllabus. The assessments were conducted 4 times for a batch of 25 students at a time. Students were called on the day of their assessment with their mobile phones, and the test was sent through Google forms. At the end of the examination, a quick evaluation of the result was done question wise and the faculty gave detailed feedback discussing the results. Following this, the students were asked to fill out an online feedback form to gather their perceptions regarding hybrid assessment. Results: Most of the students considered hybrid practical assessment to be a better mode than conventional practical assessment, and the majority thought that this mode can be useful for final exam preparation and should be conducted more frequently. Most of the students were satisfied with the time given for answering the questions as well as with the difficulty level of the questions, and felt that the syllabus was appropriately covered. However, a few students faced problems such as Internet connectivity and form reloading issues. Conclusions: A hybrid assessment method that is conducting an “on campus” online examination can be effective mode of conducting regular formative assessments. It has the advantage of requiring minimal infrastructure as well as examination faculty.

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