Development of knowledge tests for multi-disciplinary emergency training: a review and an example

Jette Sørensen, L Thellesen, J Strandbygaard, K Svendsen, K Christensen, M Johansen, P Langhoff-Roos, K Ekuland, B Ottesen, Cees van der Vleuten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The literature is sparse on written test development in a post-graduate multi-disciplinary setting. Developing and evaluating knowledge tests for use in multi-disciplinary post-graduate training is challenging. The objective of this study was to describe the process of developing and evaluating a multiple-choice question (MCQ) test for use in a multi-disciplinary training program in obstetric-anesthesia emergencies.

    Methods: A multi-disciplinary working committee with 12 members representing six professional healthcare groups and another 28 participants were involved. Recurrent revisions of the MCQ items were undertaken followed by a statistical analysis. The MCQ items were developed stepwise, including decisions on aims and content, followed by testing for face and content validity, construct validity, item-total correlation, and reliability.

    Results: To obtain acceptable content validity, 40 out of originally 50 items were included in the final MCQ test. The MCQ test was able to distinguish between levels of competence, and good construct validity was indicated by a significant difference in the mean score between consultants and first-year trainees, as well as between first-year trainees and medical and midwifery students. Evaluation of the item-total correlation analysis in the 40 items set revealed that 11 items needed re-evaluation, four of which addressed content issues in local clinical guidelines. A Cronbach's alpha of 0.83 for reliability was found, which is acceptable.

    Conclusion: Content and construct validity and reliability were acceptable. The presented template for the development of this MCQ test could be useful to others when developing knowledge tests and may enhance the overall quality of test development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-133
    Number of pages11
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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