Assessing open-book examination in medical education: The time is now

Med Teach. 2020 Aug 28;1-2. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2020.1811214. Online ahead of print.


As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the feasibility of holding secure closed-book examinations in medical education is compromised. In this Personal View, we compare the underlying reasoning for using open-book and closed-book exams. We rethink the role of open-book assessment and offer ways in which we believe they can complement closed-book exams. We highlight the gap in research, highlight future directions, and call on medical educators to seize our current golden opportunity to explore the impact of open-book exams - on their own or combined to closed-book tests, as a blended approach - on learners, educators, and licensing bodies.

Keywords: e-learning/computers; Assessment; best evidence medical education; evidence-based medicine; independent.