Development, implementation and feedback for an online speciality membership examination in orthodontics during the COVID-19 pandemic

Charlotte E. Eckhardt, Jadbinder Seehra, Stephen M. Chadwick, Kim Voerman, Alex Landau, Fiona S. Ryan, Padhraig S. Fleming, Matthew Garrett, Martyn T. Cobourne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG) offer the bi-collegiate Membership in Orthodontics (MOrth) examination, a summative assessment of specialist knowledge, skill and behaviour in orthodontics. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound global effect on almost every facet of normal life, including the conduct of face-to-face examinations. We highlight development, implementation and feedback for the bi-collegiate MOrth Part 2 examination delivered remotely to a cohort of candidates in September 2020 by RCSEng/RCPSG. Methods Two anonymised online surveys (Google Forms) were distributed via electronic mail following completion of the examination diet. Forty-two candidates were sent a survey covering four domains and comprising a total of 31 questions. The 20 examiners were sent a survey containing eight questions. In both surveys, free-text responses were also collected. A rating system was used to categorise responses. All survey responses were summarised in an online data collection sheet. Results The response rate was 78.5% (33/42) and 75% (15/20) for candidates and examiners, respectively. Overall, favourable responses in relation to all sections of the assessment were elicited from candidates with the majority (mean 79.8%; 75.8-81.9%) reporting that the online examination format worked well. Equally, favourable responses were reported by examiners. Notably, 80% of examiners felt that the online exam style did not affect the mark a candidate would receive, and 100% were confident that the marks the candidates received were a reflection of their ability and were not affected by the online delivery of the assessment. Conclusions The feedback from both candidates and examiners relating to an online remote assessment of the bi-collegiate MOrth Part 2 was generally positive. Based on the survey responses, this format of a high-stakes examination was acceptable to all stakeholders, and demonstrated a high level of perceived validity and reliability in terms of content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number8
Early online date22 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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