M-OSCE as a method to measure dental hygiene students' critical thinking: A pilot study

Martha J. McComas, Rebecca A. Wright, Nancy K. Mann, Mary D. Cooper, Mary E. Jacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Educators in all academic disciplines have been encouraged to utilize assessment strategies to evaluate students' critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to assess the viability of the modified objective structured clinical examination (m-OSCE) to evaluate critical thinking in dental hygiene education. This evaluation utilized a convenience sample of senior dental hygiene students. Students participated in the m-OSCE in which portions of a patient case were revealed at four stations. The exam consisted of multiple-choice questions intended to measure students' ability to utilize critical thinking skills. Additionally, there was one fill-in-the-blank question and a treatment plan that was completed at the fifth station. The results of this study revealed that the m-OSCE did not reliably measure dental hygiene students' critical thinking. Statistical analysis found no satisfactory reliability within the multiple-choice questions and moderately reliable results within the treatment planning portion of the examination. In addition, the item analysis found gaps in students' abilities to transfer clinical evidence/data to basic biomedical knowledge as demonstrated through the multiple-choice questioning results. This outcome warrants further investigation of the utility of the m-OSCE, with a focus on modifications to the evaluation questions, grading rubric, and patient case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 4 2013


  • Assessment
  • Critical thinking
  • Dental hygiene
  • Dental hygiene education
  • Dental hygiene students
  • Objective structured clinical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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