Implementation of online formative assessment in the postgraduate medical education during COVID-19 pandemic; A pilot for replication

Document Type : Original Article


Family Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt


Background: During COVID-19 pandemic the demand for reliable, acceptable, and feasible methods of online formative assessment (FA) tools has increased. We aimed to assess the use of technology in FA through collecting the candidates and assessors’ expectations before the exam and their opinions after the exam regarding the whole process. Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study conducted over 38 postgraduate candidates and 13 assessors testing the effectiveness of the implementation of online FA (includes MCQ, CBD & CSA) on the postgraduate learning process. Together with collecting the assessor’s feedback on the FA processes and how they helped the students and the assessors. Results: Seven percent of the participants expected the registration process to be difficult. However, only three percent after the exam found it difficult (P= 0.029). The most influence for the FA was that it provides them with self-assessment and correction (score of 3.6). Participants expected own performance mean score before FA was 2.5, while was 3.3 afterwards (P= 0.009). CSA was the best among the used assessment tools (score: 4.06). Ninety percent preferred immediate feedback. Before the FA, 63.16% of them expected it to be an easy and comfortable process while this percentage increased to 75.76% after the FA. Seventy percent of the assessors believed that FA extremely benefits the candidates. Conclusions: The postgraduate’s online FA including the MCQs, CBD and CSA is an easy, beneficiary and comfortable process that can give the candidates a feedback on their performance and giving the chance for improvement.