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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 70  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 239-243

Relationship between difficulty and discrimination indices of essay questions in formative assessment


1 Department of Anatomy, FAIMER Fellow, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pushpa Nagavalli Basavanna
Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jasi.jasi_170_20

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Introduction: Assessment drives learning; assessment is the key component in medical education. Written examination plays a major role in assessing cognitive domain and well-constructed essay questions helps to assess the higher order of knowledge. Item analysis supports to assess the quality of items written and in turn which helps the faculty to retain, modify, or vomit the items. Material and Methods: Item analysis was done on anatomy essay questions of two internal assessment of 200 first MBBS students. Difficulty and discrimination indices were calculated, and relationship between the two indices was also analyzed. Analysis of the data indicated that there was a wide spectrum of level of difficulty among the essay items. Results: 83.33% items were within the acceptable range of difficulty index (DIF) and 1.67% items were not within the acceptable range. 91.67% items were good to identify students who have studied and only 8.33% (one question) item to be discarded and replaced. The relationship between the item discrimination index (DI) and DIF was determined using regression analysis and it is statistically significant, as the difficulty level of item increased the DI also increased. Discussion and conclusion: By this kind analysis, we can have a question bank with validated different grades of acceptability. Before deciding on test, this will help to consider whether the item difficulty level appropriate for testing given objective and does the item discriminate adequately and then to decide which items to include, revise, or omit from a test.


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