Application of OSCE using a Virtual Assessment Platform

Jeremiah Y. Kim, Muath A. AlDosari, Sang Park


Introduction: This study describes the development and implementation of a virtual objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) as an alternative to in-person OSCEs during the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluates its efficacy and reception by students and faculty.

Methods: The virtual OSCE was conducted over Zoom (Zoom Video Communications, Inc. San Jose, CA) with students rotating through each discipline via Breakout Rooms. This study examined all 241 OSCE results from the HSDM classes of 2016-2022, with 170 in-person OSCE results and 71 virtual OSCE results. Descriptive and linear regression analysis were used to report the difference in OSCE experience and scores between virtual and in-person OSCEs.

Results: Out of 100, the adjusted average score difference was 0.66 higher in virtual OSCE experience compared to in-person assessment, but it was not statistically significant (95%CI=-0.45, 1.78). A total of 35 students (49%) and 14 faculty responded to a survey regarding their virtual OSCE experience. Most students surveyed agreed that the virtual OSCE was effective (94%), accessible (97%), and should be offered post-pandemic (74%). The majority of faculty were neutral regarding the virtual OSCE as a comparable learning experience (76%) and in its accessibility (71%), and only 14% agreed that virtual OSCE should be offered in the future.

Conclusion: The results show that the virtual OSCE can be a reasonable alternative to the in-person OSCE when primarily considering its clinical impact and suggest a viable role for virtual OSCE post-pandemic. Technological proficiency training could improve perceptions regarding future virtual OSCE implementation.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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