Rater and occasion impacts on the reliability of pre-admission assessments
Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2009
Volume 43, Issue 12, pages 1198–1202, December 2009
How to Cite
Axelson, R. D. and Kreiter, C. D. (2009), Rater and occasion impacts on the reliability of pre-admission assessments. Medical Education, 43: 1198–1202. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03537.x
- Issue published online: 17 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
- Received 18 May 2009; editorial comments to authors 21 July 2009, 7 August 2009; accepted for publication 20 August 2009
Context Some medical schools have recently replaced the medical school pre-admission interview (MSPI) with the multiple mini-interview (MMI), which utilises objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)-style measurement techniques. Their motivation for doing so stems from the superior reliabilities obtained with the OSCE-style measures. Other institutions, however, are hesitant to embrace the MMI format because of the time and costs involved in restructuring recruitment and admission procedures.
Objectives To shed light on the aetiology of the MMI’s increased reliability and to explore the potential of an alternative, lower-cost interview format, this study examined the relative contributions of two facets (raters, occasions) to interview score reliability.
Methods Institutional review board approval was obtained to conduct a study of all students who completed one or more MSPIs at a large Midwestern medical college during 2003–2007. Within this dataset, we identified 168 applicants who were interviewed twice in consecutive years and thus provided the requisite data for generalisability (G) and decision (D) studies examining these issues.
Results Increasing the number of interview occasions contributed much more to score reliability than did increasing the number of raters.
Conclusions Replicating a number of interviews, each with one rater, is likely to be superior to the often recommended panel interview approach and may offer a practical, low-cost method for enhancing MSPI reliability. Whether such a method will ultimately enhance MSPI validity warrants further investigation.