Item analysis is the process of collecting, summarizing and using information from students’ responses to assess the quality of test items. Difficulty index (P) and Discrimination index (D) are two parameters which help evaluate the standard of MCQ questions used in an examination, with abnormal values indicating poor quality. In this study, 120 test items of 12 Type A MCQ tests of Foundation 1 multi-disciplinary summative assessment from M2 / 2003 to M2 / 2006 cohorts of International Medical University were selected and their P-scores in percent and D-scores were estimated using Microsoft Office Excel. The relationship between the item difficulty index and discrimination index for each test item was determined by Pearson correlation analysis using SPSS 11.5. Mean difficulty index scores of the individual summative tests were in the range of 64% to 89%. One-third of total test items crossed the difficulty index of 80% indicating that those items were easy for the students. Sixty seven percent of the test items showed acceptable (> 0.2) discrimination index. Forty five out of 120 test items showed excellent discrimination index. Discrimination index correlated poorly with difficulty index (r = -0.325). In conclusion, a consistent level of test difficulty and discrimination indices was maintained from 2003 to 2006 in all the twelve summative type A MCQ tests.
There is little information about the willingness of medical students to participate in Facebook for education. I analyzed my interactions with students for the past 14 months to estimate the quantity of student interaction. A Facebook Group was created. Students friend requests were accepted, but "friending" was never solicited. Questions were created around a clinical situation and posted. Forty questions were posted. 5/40 questions were about physics/chemistry. 24 questions focused on basic medical sciences. 11 questions were primarily about clinical medicine. In fourteen months, 533/810 (66%) college students joined the Group. In all, 163/533 students (30%) responded at least once. Half of all responses were comments; the rest were clicks on the "like" button. The average number of responses was 9.5 unique students/question. If participation is voluntary, and targeted students are large in number, one can expect about 66% of students to become members of a site, and about 30% of these to interact. For any given question posted on the site, about 2% of members will respond, regardless of the nature of question: clinically oriented or basic.
There is growing concern regarding the erosion of industries' trust in the reliability and validity of university graduates. Fake graduates are described in this letter. This article endeavors to warn of a new version of the scholarly black market, in which theses and dissertations are sold to students seeking to graduate under false pretenses.
The time delay between submission of a thesis and Viva Voce is intolerable for students. This letter tries to draw the readers' attention to the effect of choosing the right examiner, in order to reduce the Viva Voce delay.
Objective: Critical appraisal is a process of systematically examining research evidence to assess its validity, results and relevance before using it to form a decision. A basic knowledge in statistic and epidemiology is important among postgraduate students in psychiatry to acquire the skills for appraising clinical research evidence. This is a descriptive study that attempts to look into the level of knowledge among the postgraduate psychiatry students in
terms of statistic and epidemiology. Methods: A total of 31 postgraduate students in their second (N= 26) and third year (N=5) Master of Medicine (Psychiatry) and Master of Psychological Medicine from three different universities, namely: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia participated in this research. The participants were asked to answer 7 questions within 30 minutes. The passing mark for this
critical review paper is set at 25 out of 50. Results: Overall, only 32.3% passed the mock critical review paper. About 67.7% of the students passed their epidemiology component and only 19.4% passed the statistic component. Conclusion: We found poor performance in basic statistics among psychiatric trainees which highlights the need for further improvement in the subject’s training.
An e-learning website is very useful, especially for students and lecturers, as this platform is very efficient for blended learning. Thus, the main objective of this research was to determine the user expectations of e-learning websites of comprehensive universities through localisation based on user preferences. This research showed how users interact with e-learning websites and indicated the patterns that can be used as standard guidelines to design the best e-learning websites. It was found localisation of e-learning websites was scarce and slow interaction with e-learning websites has inconvenienced users. Additionally, too many web objects on the user interface of e-learning websites have a tendency to confuse users. A mixed method approach was used I this study, namely content analysis (qualitative) and localisation (quantitative). Thus, this research contributes to knowledge by guiding users on localising their web objects according to their preferences and hopefully allow for an easy and quick information search for e-learning websites.
Learning is often quoted as a lifelong process. In other words, life is about learning. As prominent institutions, universities are concerned with valued and measurable learning among undergraduate students so that their mastery level of a particular content knowledge can be quantitatively gauged. Of many types of assessments, summative assessment plays a greater role in majority of engineering courses due to nature of the content knowledge. This paper mathematically investigates the fairness issue of equal weightage for all summative assessments i.e., assignments, mid-term test and end-term examination. A multiple objective optimization on the basis of ratio analysis (MOORA) is utilized to assign equal weight for the aforementioned assessments. It was found that the number of students failing the selected engineering course increases by about five times using the MOORA method. The finding clearly reveals the advantages of the former method (unequal weights) as compared to MOORA method in terms of catering students with different learning styles and speed of knowledge acquisition.
The increasing unethical practices of graduates' admissions have heightened concerns about the integrity of the academy. This article informs this important subject that affects the students, admission systems, and the entire scientific community, thus, representing an approach against scholarly black market activities including falsified documents and unethical practices by consultants and students' recruitment agencies.
This article describes the communication skills programme of the International Medical University, which adopts an integrated medical curriculum. The programme, implemented in February 2005, is based on a systematic framework aimed at teaching students basic interpersonal communication skills progressively and continuously throughout the pre-clinical phase.
BACKGROUND: The literature indicates that medical practitioners experience declining empathy levels in clinical practice. This highlights the need to educate medical students about empathy as an attribute early in the academic curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate year one students' self-reported empathy levels following a 2-hour empathy workshop at a large medical school in Malaysia.
METHODS: Changes in empathy scores were examined using a paired repeated-measures t-test in this prospective before and after study.
RESULTS: Analyzing the matched data, there was a statistically significant difference and moderate effect size between mean empathy scores before and 5 weeks after the workshop (112.08±10.67 versus 117.93±13.13, P<0.0001, d=0.48) using the Jefferson Scale Physician Empathy (Student Version).
CONCLUSION: The results of this observational study indicate improved mean self-reported empathy scores following an empathy workshop.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; empathy; medical students
Public universities in Saudi Arabia today are making substantial investments in e-learning as part of their educational system, especially in the implementation of learning management systems (LMS). To our knowledge, this is the first study conducted in Saudi Arabia exploring medical students' experience with an LMS, particularly as part of a medical informatics course.
BACKGROUND: Test anxiety aggravates psychological distress and reduces the motivation among graduate students. This study aimed to identify psychological intervention for test anxiety, which reduces the level of psychological distress, amotivation and increases the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among medical students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Westside test anxiety scale, Kessler Perceived Stress Scale and Academic Motivation Scale were used to measure test anxiety, psychological distress and motivation on 436 1(st) year medical students. Out of 436 students, 74 students who exhibited moderate to high test anxiety were randomly divided into either experimental or waiting list group. In this true randomized experimental study, 32 participants from the intervention group received five sessions of psychological intervention consist of psychoeducation, relaxation therapy and systematic desensitization. Thirty-three students from waiting list received one session of advice and suggestions.
RESULTS: After received psychological intervention participants from the intervention group experienced less anxiety, psychological distress, and amotivation (P < 0.01) and high intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (P < 0.01) in the postassessment compared with their preassessment scores.
CONCLUSION: Overall psychological intervention is effective to reduce anxiety scores and its related variables.
KEYWORDS: Anxiety; motivation; psychological distress
Numerous studies are demonstrating that engaging undergraduate students in original research can improve their achievement in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and increase the likelihood that some of them will decide to pursue careers in these disciplines. Associated with this increased prominence of research in the undergraduate curriculum are greater expectations from funders, colleges, and universities that faculty mentors will help those students, along with their graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, develop an understanding and sense of personal and collective obligation for responsible conduct of science (RCS). This Feature describes an ongoing National Research Council (NRC) project and a recent report about educating faculty members in culturally diverse settings (Middle East/North Africa and Asia) to employ active-learning strategies to engage their students and colleagues deeply in issues related to RCS. The NRC report describes the first phase of this project, which took place in Aqaba and Amman, Jordan, in September 2012 and April 2013, respectively. Here we highlight the findings from that report and our subsequent experience with a similar interactive institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our work provides insights and perspectives for faculty members in the United States as they engage undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, to help them better understand the intricacies of and connections among various components of RCS. Further, our experiences can provide insights for those who may wish to establish "train-the-trainer" programs at their home institutions.
In Malaysia, there are 81 (as on February 15, 2013) higher education institutions including satellite branches of the foreign universities. In northern part of the Peninsular Malaysia, AIMST University is the first private not-for-profit university and aims to become a premier private university in the country and the region. The workshop described in this article was designed to develop and enhance the capacity of academic staff-in-leadership-role for the University. This type of workshops may be a good method to enhance the leadership qualities of the head of each unit, department, school and faculty in each university.
Accurate medical information is essential among health care professionals to aid dissemination of information to the public. This study aimed to determine the level of knowledge about breast cancer and to identify related factors among undergraduate health sciences students in a public university in Terengganu, Malaysia.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The family medicine training programs in the Asia Pacific (AP) are evolving. To date, there is a lack of comprehensive and systematic documentation on the status of family medicine training in the AP. This study aims to determine the status of family medicine training at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in medical schools (universities or colleges) in the AP.
METHODS: In 2014, the authors conducted a cross-sectional online survey to assess the undergraduate and postgraduate family medicine programs in academic family medicine departments from AP countries. A 37-item online survey questionnaire was sent to key informants from academic institutions with established family medicine departments/units. Only one response from each family medicine department/unit was included in the analysis.
RESULTS: The medical school and country response rates were 31.31% and 64.1%, respectively. The majority of the medical schools (94.7%, n=71/75) reported having a department/unit for family medicine. Family medicine is recognized as a specialist degree by the governments of 20/25 countries studied. Family medicine is included in the undergraduate program of 92% (n=69/75) of all the participating medical schools. Only slightly more than half (53.3%) (n=40/75) reported conducting a postgraduate clinical program. Less than one third (26.7%) (n=20/75) of the medical schools conducted postgraduate research programs.
CONCLUSIONS: Undergraduate training remains the focus of most family medicine departments/units in the AP. Nevertheless, the number of postgraduate programs is increasing. A more rigorous and long-term documentation of family medicine training in the AP is warranted.
INTRODUCTION: Tobacco smoking, a habitual behavior, is addictive and detrimental to health. Quitting requires personal abilities and environmental opportunities and therefore, improving these abilities and opportunities will undoubtedly act on smokers' motivation to quit.
METHODS: A prospective single-blinded randomized controlled interventional study was conducted among first year undergraduate students in Malaysia. A total of eighty smokers were randomly allocated to a control or intervention groups (40/40). Randomization remained concealed from research personnel. All participants were followed up for six months to evaluate abstinence.
RESULTS: Quit line enrolment rate of the intervention group was 55% (22) compared to 7.5% (3) in the control (P < 0.001 95% CI 30.1 - 64.9). In the intervention group 27% (6) sustained quitting for six months compared to none in the control group.
CONCLUSION: This study has shown that brief advice for smoking cessation is more effective than an information leaflet alone to promote quitting and that to maintain abstinence quit line follow up is necessary. Larger samples size and longer follow up studies are needed to further confirm these findings.
KEYWORDS: Brief advice; Quit line; Smoking cessation; Tobacco smoking
BACKGROUND: Prescribing incompetence is an important factor that contributes to prescribing error, and this is often due to inadequate training during medical schools. We therefore aimed to develop and validate an instrument to assess the prescribing readiness of medical students (PROMS) in Malaysia.
METHODS: The PROMS comprised of 26 items with four domains: undergraduate learning opportunities; hands-on clinical skills practice; information gathering behaviour; and factors affecting the learning of prescribing skills. The first three domains were adapted from an existing questionnaire, while items from the last domain were formulated based on findings from a nominal group discussion. Face and content validity was determined by an expert panel, pilot tested in a class of final year (Year 5) medical students, and assessed using the Flesch reading ease. To assess the reliability of the PROMS, the internal consistency and test-retest (at baseline and 2 weeks later) were assessed using the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test and Spearman's rho. The discriminative validity of the PROMS was assessed using the Mann-Whitney U-test (to assess if the PROMS could discriminate between final year medical students from a public and a private university).
RESULTS: A total of 119 medical students were recruited. Flesch reading ease was 46.9, indicating that the instrument was suitable for use in participants undergoing tertiary education. The overall Cronbach alpha value of the PROMS was 0.695, which was satisfactory. Test-retest showed no difference for 25/26 items, indicating that our instrument was reliable. Responses from the public and private university final year medical students were significantly different in 10/26 items, indicating that the PROMS was able to discriminate between these two groups. Medical students from the private university reported fewer learning opportunities and hands-on practice compared to those from the public university. On the other hand, medical students from the private university reported more frequent use of both web based and non-web-based resources compared to their public university counterparts.
CONCLUSIONS: The PROMS instrument was found to be a reliable and valid tool for assessing medical students' readiness to prescribe in Malaysia. It may also inform on the adequacy of medical programmes in training prescribing skills.