Conducting online OSCEs aided by a novel time management web-based system

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are an essential part of the assessment process for medical students. They have traditionally been face-to-face assessments, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical schools have been forced to attempt to carry them out remotely. OSCEs are difficult to carry out online due to rotation management aspects which make it difficult to synchronize movement of students from one station to another. Methods: The authors have developed a dynamic OSCE time management website which aids in solving the movement synchronization issue. This secure website enables participants to view the list of stations they are allowed to enter, and the start and end time of each station. OSCE administrators can control time of entry and monitor progress of the OSCE remotely. Results: The authors have used the system to conduct several exams successfully, showing the feasibility and cost effectiveness of this method, as well as user acceptance and satisfaction. In contrast to traditional OSCEs, students are set up in individual virtual rooms for the whole exam while examiners, simulated patients and proctors rotate between them. Conclusions: This online OSCE implementation shows feasibility, cost effectiveness and acceptance of this method. The authors found that student outcomes are comparable to traditional OSCEs conducted in the past. There was no significant difference in student marks in one exam compared to last year, while marks were slightly higher in two exams, potentially due to lack of physical exam stations. An unresolved drawback is the inability to assess physical exam stations online, although having students verbally describe what they would do in physical exam situations may be a partial solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number508
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • OSCE
  • Online OSCE
  • Time Management System
  • Virtual OSCE
  • Web OSCE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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