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Int J Pharm Pract. 2014 Feb;22(1):76-83. doi: 10.1111/ijpp.12022. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Difficulty and discrimination indices of multiple-choice examination items in a college of pharmacy therapeutics and pathophysiology course sequence.

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1
College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to identify differences in difficulty and discrimination among multiple-choice examination items with regard to format and content in pharmacy therapeutics and pathophysiology (TP) courses.

METHODS:

Items from a TP course sequence were categorized by format and content by a faculty committee using the Delphi technique. Difficulty was not normally distributed; therefore, a logit transformation was employed. Difficulty and discrimination were analysed using one-way analysis of variance, with post hoc Bonferroni correction for pairs, to detect differences.

KEY FINDINGS:

A total of 516 items were included, with approximately 233 students answering each item. Case-based items were statistically more difficult than Standard (P=0.0007) or Statement items (P=0.001) and more discriminatory than Standard items (P=0.015). Dosing items were more difficult (P=0.013) and discriminating (P=0.02) than therapeutics items.

CONCLUSIONS:

Case-based items appear to have been more difficult than other items and may provide greater discrimination than Standard items.

KEYWORDS:

assessment; items; pharmacy; questions; therapeutics

PMID:
23419201
DOI:
10.1111/ijpp.12022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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