Malaysian pharmacy students’ perspectives on the virtual objective structured clinical examination during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Mohamed Hassan Elnaem, Muhammad Eid Akkawi, Nor Ilyani Mohamed Nazar, Norny Syafinaz Ab Rahman, Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose This study investigated pharmacy students’ perceptions of various aspects of virtual objective structured clinical examinations (vOSCEs) conducted during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in Malaysia.

Methods This cross-sectional study involved third- and fourth-year pharmacy students at the International Islamic University Malaysia. A validated self-administered questionnaire was distributed to students who had taken a vOSCE a week before.

Results Out of the 253 students who were approached, 231 (91.3%) completed the questionnaire. More than 75% of the participants agreed that the instructions and preparations were clear and helpful in familiarizing them with the vOSCE flow. It was found that 53.2% of the respondents were satisfied with the flow and conduct of the vOSCE. However, only approximately one-third of the respondents believed that the tasks provided in the vOSCE were more convenient, less stressful, and easier to perform than those in the conventional OSCE. Furthermore, 49.7% of the students favored not having a vOSCE in the future when conducting a conventional OSCE becomes feasible again. Internet connection was reported as a problem hindering the performance of the vOSCE by 51.9% of the participants. Students who were interested in clinical pharmacy courses were more satisfied than other students with the preparation and operation of the vOSCE, the faculty support, and the allocated time.

Conclusion Students were satisfied with the organization and operation of the vOSCE. However, they still preferred the conventional OSCE over the vOSCE. These findings might indicate a further need to expose students to telehealthcare models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions
Issue number6
Early online date12 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 12 Apr 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Educational measurement
  • Malaysia
  • Pharmacy students
  • Physical examination


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