Introduction: COVID-19 has profoundly affected dental undergraduate teaching and assessment. The pandemic resulted in cessation of face-to face teaching and assessment in many countries, with an associated move online. Objective structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), an important modality for clinical assessment in dentistry and medicine, is not possible with pandemic restrictions in place. As a result, interest in virtual objective structured clinical examination (VOSCE) has been revived. Student and staff evaluation of any assessment process is important, where the views of all involved are required in establishment of authenticity. Aim: To explore and describe the views of undergraduate dental students and staff in relation to VOSCE Materials and Method: Qualitative methods utilising online focus groups and video recording were used in this study. Five focus groups, involving 24 participants were undertaken. Results: Thematic analysis following a deductive semantic approach was carried out resulting in the identification of six themes relating to the VOSCE: VOSCE preconceptions, examination preparation, examination process, fairness, comparison with OSCE and possible improvements. Consideration of these themes, and their interaction, is likely to prove important for optimisation of this assessment modality. Conclusions: Overall, both staff and students considered the VOSCE a useful and fair examination and a suitable alternative to OSCE. The potential for a number of improvements in the assessment process was identified.


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Donn, J., Scott, J., Binnie, V., Mather, C., Beacher, N. & Bell, A. 2022, 'Virtual objective structured clinical examination during the COVID-19 pandemic: an essential addition to dental assessment', European Journal of Dental Education, 00, pp. 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eje.12775

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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