METHODS: Students in the experimental group (n = 43) were randomly assigned to 1 of 10 teams (each team typically containing 4-5 students), with teams differing for each of the 3-unit examinations. The control group (n = 46) received the same unit examinations but completed them as individuals. Each examination consisted of 15 multiple choice questions related to spinal evaluation. All students took the comprehensive final examination as individuals. A survey was administered to all students regarding their attitudes on their testing experience after the third examination. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used for statistical comparisons.
RESULTS: Although the collaborative group scored significantly higher than the control group on all unit examinations (P < .01), no significant difference was noted relative to final examination performance between the 2 groups (P > .05). Students involved in collaborative testing had a more positive attitude regarding their testing experience than students in solo testing (P < .05) and believed this form of assessment helped to reduce test anxiety and improve critical thinking and confidence (P < .01, respectively). No significant difference was identified in preassessment study habits (P > .05).
CONCLUSION: These results confirm and extend previous studies of collaborative testing at chiropractic colleges. Statistically significant increases in unit examination scores and statistically significant differences in survey item scores may be interpreted as students involved in collaborative testing having an increase in course performance and student attitudes.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for the PubMed record for this article; full text by subscription.