|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 247-248
Utility of google forms as an assessment tool in AYUSH systems of medicine
Department of Rachana Sharir, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
|Date of Submission||31-Aug-2021|
|Date of Decision||15-Sep-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||05-Oct-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||16-Dec-2021|
Department of Rachana Sharir, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, Shillong, Meghalaya - 793 018
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Soni G. Utility of google forms as an assessment tool in AYUSH systems of medicine. J Ayurveda 2021;15:247-8
As we all are well versed that education/learning is an incessant process that commences since birth and continues till one survives. Starting from the basic learning till the professional degree, the person has to undergo numerous assessments/examinations to testimony once worth. Many new approaches of evaluations are often tried due to criticism of its memory-based philosophy of the existing method of assessment/evaluation. The induction of innovations in the education system has always paid rich dividends in the process of learning and teaching both; especially in the medical education system. Moreover, the sudden emergence of COVID-19 has impacted the medical education fraternity severely leaving the online mode of education the only means to safeguard the future of students.
AYUSH System of Medicine (ASM) alongside contemporary systems is also swiftly embracing the tech-based innovations to smooth line its process of imparting education and making itself more user-friendly by accepting different tech-blended approaches such as smart classes and artificial intelligence-based apps; however, the tech-based safe innovative manner of evaluation for both MES and ASM is still the one searched off. The AYUSH students have to undergo both theoretical and practical assessments in a phased manner as per the curriculum prescribed by the respective boards of the system.
The introduction of Google Forms, offered by Google as a part of free web-based Google Docs editors, which initially is survey software can be the next big thing in the MES and the AYUSH as an evaluator tool. Google Forms, which simply and efficiently collects the diverse type of information, can also be utilized for the assessment of students, especially in these pandemic conditions, where the imparting education has transformed into virtual mode. Google Form allows several options to create an online quiz or test based on the multiple-choice questions (MCQs), short answers, and even paragraph writings. The MCQs-based assessment can be easily organized on Google Forms by the faculty for internal assessment or even after completion of each topic and is mostly liked by students for evaluating as well as developing the habit of critical thinking.
A study based on 1st-year medical students shows that more than 75% found MCQs-based assessment on Google Forms answering fairer; 65% rated it even better than the conventional methods of paper and pen, and 76% felt it best way of revisions. Another study shows the several benefits to the students in terms of efficiency in time and energy, quick and detailed feedback, etc. For faculty, it decreases the workload of maintaining records and evaluating the copies manually. It also removes the negative impact on students' writing style or handwriting. Another survey-based study was conducted on 150 1st-year medical students taking online classes and assessment in the Department of Physiology, ESIC Medical College, in Chennai, where the response of the students was assessed using a questionnaire that showed a positive response for utility, effectiveness, and reliability, but some practical problems such as network issues were also noticed.
If we look into the advantages of using Google Forms, first, it is a freely available online tool, linked with a Google account; the interface is straightforward and can be utilized by any person having basic internet knowledge; a simple URL link can be sent to any number of students via e-mail, or via social networks and the response receiving time limit can also be preset; a preview option is also present just to recheck the final format before sharing the link; especially for MCQs-based tests, it is a self-evaluator; marks and answers can be prefilled and as the quiz is over, either manually or automatically on submission results can be declared; finally, Google Forms are integrated with Google spreadsheets which store the feedback received so that we do not need to make a separate record of the test or even marks of students.
Like all innovations, it also has some limitations such as internet facility is mandatory, which is still not equally prevalent in all areas in developing countries like ours; some security concerns may also be there, though it can be made more secure via quality passwords; in technical terms, there is a limitation of texts up to 500 Kb; images up to 2 Mb; and for spreadsheets, 256 cells or 40 sheets; finally, there is no check or regulation on students undergoing the assessment for any fraudulent steps taken by them.
On the personal front, I have been using Google Form-based assessment for my 1st-year Rachana Sharir students for revision of topics as well as for their internal/terminal tests and had found it a very convenient method as faculty which is time-saving, quick, and also environment-friendly as a lot of papers can be saved. On the students front, I have always got a positive response as the number of attendees has been always high, dissection-related images for identification are the most liked one, and the feedback mechanism associated with it gives results within seconds of submission, does not keep them anxiously waiting for grades.
In the closing remarks, Google Forms can facilitate both the faculty members and students in transforming the assessment system of ASM. The facility of Google Forms is still underutilized in ASM in comparison to the contemporary medical systems. Every innovation has some advantages and lacunas, but we have to properly weigh the advantages and try to eradicate/minimize the shortcomings for the benefit of the system, especially in this pandemic time. Hence, through this letter, I request peers of ASM to evaluate the potential of this newer technology to utilize it maximally.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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