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Abstract

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) evaluate the practical skills of students training in the health professions. OSCEs have several limitations, including a large administrative burden, potential inaccuracies when transferring student scores from paper to electronic mediums, and difficulties providing individualised student feedback. The “eOSCE,” an electronic version of the traditional paper-based OSCE, potentially addresses these issues. In the eOSCE, examiners use electronic means (e.g. computer, personal digital assistant) to record student scores and comments about their performance, and the system provides students with individualised feedback. The literature from 12 databases was searched to identify articles discussing the use of electronic methods for practical skills assessment, focussing on health professions. Thirteen articles described the evaluation of health students’ practical skills using electronic means. This review discusses the types of electronic methods used for practical skills assessments and the advantages and disadvantages of the types of eOSCEs compared to traditional paper-based formats.

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