Construct validity and predictive utility of internal assessment in undergraduate medical education

May 2017
National Medical Journal of India;May/Jun2017, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p151
Academic Journal
Background. Internal assessment is a partial requirement of all medical college examinations in India. It can help teachers provide remedial action and guide learning. But its utility and acceptability is doubted because, with no external control, internal assessment is considered prone to misuse. It is therefore not used as a tool for learning. There is no study on the validity of internal assessment from India. Methods. We use multiple methods and multiple teachers to assess students and our records are well maintained. We analysed the internal assessment scores at our institute. We correlated the internal assessment marks with the university marks obtained by students in one of the subjects in each of the four professional examinations. Results. There was a positive correlation of university marks with internal assessment marks. The r values ranged from +0.426 to +0.685 and were statistically significant (p<0.01). The percentage of internal assessment marks was higher than the university percentage in all professional examinations except the first. Conclusions. Internal assessment marks correlate well with marks in university examinations. This provides evidence for construct validity and predictive utility of internal assessment. Internal assessment can predict performance at summative examinations and allow remedial action.


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