Perceptions of the Use of Blueprinting in a Formative Theory Assessment in Pharmacology Education

Tejas Patel, Manoj K. Saurabh, Parvati Patel


Objectives: This study aimed to assess perceptions of the use of a blueprint in a pharmacology formative theory assessment. Methods: This study took place from October 2015 to February 2016 at a medical college in Gujurat, India. Faculty from the Department of Pharmacology used an internal syllabus to prepare an assessment blueprint. A total of 12 faculty members prepared learning objectives and categorised cognitive domain levels by consensus. Learning objectives were scored according to clinical importance and marks were distributed according to proportional weighting. A three-dimensional test specification table of syllabus content, assessment tools and cognitive domains was prepared. Based on this table, a theory paper was created and administered to 126 pharmacology students. Feedback was then collected from the faculty members and students using a 5-point Likert scale. Results: The majority of faculty members agreed that using a blueprint ensured proper weighting of marks for important topics (90.00%), aligned questions with learning objectives (80.00%), distributed questions according to clinical importance (100.00%) and minimised inter-examiner variations in selecting questions (90.00%). Few faculty members believed that use of the blueprint created too many easy questions (10.00%) or too many difficult questions (10.00%). Most students felt that the paper had a uniform distribution of questions from the syllabus (90.24%), that important topics were appropriately weighted (77.23%), was well organised (79.67%) and tested indepth subject knowledge (74.80%). Conclusion: These findings indicate that blueprinting should be an integral part of written assessments in pharmacology education .


Medical Education; Educational Measurement; Perceptions; Students; Faculty; Reliability and Validity.

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