RESEARCH ARTICLE: Peer marking of OSCEs within a UK pharmacy undergraduate programme - student views




Formative, Near-peer, OSCEs, Peer marking, Pharmacy student


Objective: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) assess competencies in undergraduate pharmacy students. Students in senior years marked those in the year below during a formative OSCE.    

Method: The study explored the views of students who marked and had been marked by peers via an online survey. Ethical approval was obtained.

Results: 115 (36%) of markers and 114 (35%) of those who were marked responded. Most students who were marked agreed that it was a positive experience and were comfortable receiving feedback from their peers; there were varied views on student marker consistency and how they were not equivalent to staff markers. Student markers felt prepared and confident giving feedback and marks. Markers felt it was a beneficial experience. Working collaboratively with another marker and assessing more than one student was valuable to allow discussion and inform their own OSCE. 

Conclusion: Overall, students supported this initiative, which has now been embedded into the undergraduate programme.

Author Biographies

Rhian Deslandes, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Louise Hughes, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Brown, C., Ross, S., Cleland, J., & Walsh, K. (2015). Money makes the medical assessment world go round: the cost of components of a summative final year Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Medical Teacher, 37, 653-659.

Burgess, A., Clark, T., Chapman, R., & Mellis, C. (2013) Senior medical students as peer examiners in an OSCE. Medical Teacher, 35, 58-62.

Chenot, J. F., Simmenroth-Nayda, A., Koch, A., Fischer, T., Scherer, M., Emmert, B., Stanske, B., Kochen, M., & Himmel, W. (2007) Can student tutors act as examiners in an objective structured clinical examination? Medical Education. 41, 1032-1038.

Cushing, A., Abbott, S., Lothian, D., Hall, A., & Westwood, O. (2011) Peer feedback as an aid to learning – What do we want? Feedback. When do we want it? Now! Medical Teacher, 33, e105-112.

Davies, A., Macleod, R., Bennett-Britton, I., McElnay, P., Bakhbakhi, D., & Sansom, J. (2016) E-learning and near-peer teaching in electrocardiogram education: a randomised trial. The Clinical Teacher, 13, 227-230.

Fletcher, A., & Day, R. (2015) A peer-led mock OSCE improves subsequent performance: What about objectivity? Medical Teacher, 37, 886-886.

General Pharmaceutical Council (2011). Future pharmacists. Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists. Available at:

General Pharmaceutical Council (2020). Pharmacist education and training. Available at:

Harden, R. M., Stevenson, M., Downne, W., & Wilson, G. (1975). Assessment of clinical competence using objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). British Medical Journal, 1, 447-451.

Harris, I., & Miller, W. (1990) Feedback in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination by medical students serving as patients, examiners and teachers. Academic Medicine, 65, 433-434.

Iblher, P., Zupanic, M., Karsten, J., & Brauer, K. (2015) May student examiners be reasonable substitute examiners for faculty in an undergraduate OSCE on medical emergencies? Medical Teacher, 37, 374-378.

Kelly, M., & Murphy, A. (2004). An evaluation of the cost of designing, delivering and assessing an undergraduate communication skills module. Medical Teacher, 26, 610-614.

Khan, R., Payne, M., & Chahine, S. (2017). Peer assessment in the objective structured clinical examination. Medical Teacher, 39, 745-756.

Khaw, C., & Raw, L. (2016) The outcomes and acceptability of near-peer teaching among medical students in clinical skills. International Journal of Medical Education, 7, 188-194.

Miller, G. E. (1990). The assessment of clinical skills /competence /performance. Academic Medicine, 65, 563–7.

Moineau, G., Power, B., Pion, A., Wood, T., & Humphrey-Murto, S. (2011) Comparison of student examiner to faculty examiner scoring and feedback in an OSCE. Medical Education, 45, 183-191.

Nelson, A. J., Nelson, S.V., Linn, A. M. J., Raw, L., Kildea, H. B., & Tonkin, A. L. (2013). Tomorrow's educators … today? Implementing near-peer teaching for medical students. Medical Teacher, 35, 2, 156-159.

Ogden, G. R., Green, M., & Ker, J. S. (2000). The use of interprofessional peer examiners in an objective structured clinical examination: Can dental students act as examiners? British Dental Journal, 189, 160-164.

Quero Munoz, L., O’Byrne, C., Pugsley, J., & Austin, Z. (2005) Reliability, validity, and generalizability of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) for assessment of entry-to-practice in pharmacy. Pharmacy Education, 1-12.

Saunders, A., Say, R., Visentin, D., & McCann, D. (2019). Evaluation of a collaborative testing approach to objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in undergraduate nurse education: A survey study. Nurse Education in Practice, 35, 111-116.

Young, I., Montgomery, K., Kearns, P., Hayward, S., & Mellanby, E. (2014). The benefits of a peer-assisted mock OSCE. The Clinical Teacher, 11, 214-218.

Zhang, N., & Rabatsky, A. (2015). Effects of test stress during an objective structured clinical examination. The Journal of Chiropractic Education, 29, 139-144.





Research Article