Question Data Bank
The need for a centralised question bank has been felt for a long time. A DOS-based question data bank was being previously developed with the help of the Information Systems Department (ISD) at Aga Khan University (AKU). After curricular renewal it had to undergo major changes, as the questions are now integrated and scenario-based.
The examination cell staff in the Department for Educational Development (DED), with the help of interested faculty from the Departments of Surgery, Medicine and Family Medicine, respectively is in the process of developing a Microsoft Windows-based question bank. Questions can be put under a number of attributes, such as, organ systems and cross linked with pathological processes and with all basic science and clinical disciplines.
Currently, questions are first categorised by year of study and department. These are then assigned a 'clinical presentation' based on AKU common presentation blueprint. The questions are also categorised by science, discipline, system, organ, process, and objective. The bank will have information of when a question was used and will provide difficulty and discrimination indices for each usage. It will have data regarding the development of the question and subsequent revisions. The goal is to make the bank user friendly, allowing swift and efficient input of data as well as ease in extracting data, such as at the time of developing an examination.
Once this question bank is entirely operational, DED plans to assist AKU School of Nursing and the Postgraduate Medical Education residency programmes, as well as graduate studies programmes to be able to store, review and extract questions centrally.