Beyond the single answer: a process-oriented exam for science students
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This commentary describes an assessment exercise known as the TRIPSE (Tri-Partite Problem Solving Exercise) that mimics science in operation. Students frame hypotheses based on limited data, design experiments to test them, which they later revise with new information. It is emphasised that there are no single correct answers, only sets with varying degrees of plausibility. The approach is flexible and can be adapted to any of the basic biomedical sciences and for students at multiple levels, undergraduate to graduate. In comparison to other testing methods, this process-oriented exercise provides a better learning experience. It captures the excitement and fascination of science and gives students a more realistic view of how scientists function.
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