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Assessing the clinical competence of psychology students through Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs): student and staff views
journal contributionposted on 2015-02-01, 00:00 authored by Jade SheenJade Sheen, Jane McGillivrayJane McGillivray, Clint Gurtman, L Boyd
Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are a well-known, reliable, and valid assessment method used across the healthcare sector. In the present study, we applied OSCEs in three units within professional postgraduate psychology courses, with the broad aims of identifying staff and student perceptions of the assessment. At the conclusion of each OSCE, staff and students completed a feedback questionnaire that contained both scaled and open-ended questions. Results suggest that clinical psychology OSCEs can be stressful for students, but are also well regarded. Both staff and students felt that the OSCEs were realistic, valid, and aligned well with professional practice. Students reported differences in the way in which they prepared for the OSCEs compared with a written exam or other form of assessment, while staff noted that models of OSCE development must be flexible, to adequately assess the objectives of individual units. Further, because they can be a costly exercise, OSCEs need to be applied judiciously within the tertiary sector.