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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 52-56

Introducing structured viva voce examination in medical undergraduate pharmacology: A pilot study

Department of Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
D C Dhasmana
Department of Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193308

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Objective: Viva voce examination is an important tool of evaluation in medical examinations marred by high subjectivity. Gross subjectivity in viva voce assessment can be reduced by structuring it. Materials and Methods: The marks obtained in theory and viva voce (traditional viva voce examination [TVVE]) of I sessional, II MBBS students were compared and a huge disparity was identified. A structured viva voce examination (SVVE) was then proposed and experimented as an objective and standardized alternative. Sets of equitable question cards for SVVE were prepared, each having eight questions with two parts each, arranged successively with increasing difficulty, domains of learning, and appropriate marks. The percentage variation in scoring in viva versus theory marks was calculated for both TVVE and SVVE, and students were grouped as Group I (+100 to +51%); Group II (+50 to −50%); Group III (−51 to −100%); Group IV (−101 to −150%); Group V (−151 to −200%); and Group VI (< −200%) variation, as? inappropriate, appropriate, inappropriate, erroneous, more erroneous and most erroneous respectively. Student’s feedback on the SVVE was also obtained. Results: In TVVE (n = 128), the students distributed were:none,17.2%, 23.4%, 22.7%, 11.7% and 25% in Group I, II, III, IV, V, and VI in contrast to SVVE (n = 107) as 7.5%, 57.9%, 19.6%, 6.5%, 5.6%, and 2.8%, respectively. Marked disparity of TVVE was annulled with SVVE. Student’s feedback was quite encouraging with 83% overall acceptability and almost 66% preferred SVVE. Conclusion: SVVE was more realistic as compared to TVVE. Most of the students favored this approach. Key message: Structured viva voce examination (SVVE) is better and more realistic than traditional viva voce examination (TVVE). SVVE reduces subjectivity of viva, adds to uniformity in assessment and assesses higher domains of learning and communication.


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