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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-72

Blueprinting process in biochemistry: A strategic step in written assessment in undergraduate medical education

1 Department of Biochemistry, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Information Technology, K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission04-Jul-2020
Date of Decision30-Oct-2022
Date of Acceptance04-Dec-2022
Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yogesh Ramkrishna Pawade
Department of Biochemistry, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.efh_311_20

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How to cite this article:
Pawade YR, Chalak AS, Pawade DY. Blueprinting process in biochemistry: A strategic step in written assessment in undergraduate medical education. Educ Health 2022;35:71-2

How to cite this URL:
Pawade YR, Chalak AS, Pawade DY. Blueprinting process in biochemistry: A strategic step in written assessment in undergraduate medical education. Educ Health [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 6];35:71-2. Available from:

Dear Editor,

Recent reports contend that the traditional pattern of theory assessment has significantly deteriorated in quality, with compromised attributes of assessment, due to factors like the subjectivity of the faculty who constructs the written examination, lack of uniformity, lack of pre-validation, and structuring of a question paper (QP).[1] Few interventional studies[2],[3] have tried to troubleshoot such issues. Within this context, our interventional study was piloted to sensitize faculty toward strategizing theory assessment using blueprinting to align objectives, content areas, and curriculum with assessment.

The multiple steps in the blueprinting process [Figure 1] were reviewed and presented to study participants, consisting of 10 faculty and 9 subject experts in Biochemistry. The main study intervention was the Faculty Development Program (FDP) on blueprinting for Biochemistry faculty, conducted by an expert in blueprinting from the Medical Education Unit of Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai. Using weightage-rating scales,[4] the final weightage for content areas in the entire syllabus, was compiled, unanimously approved, and internally validated.
Figure 1: Blueprinting process

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All 10 participating faculty from the Department of Biochemistry prepared theory QP blueprints, using the validated weightage. Using that blueprint, they created one QP of the same paper. All QPs were blinded and randomly assigned to the biochemistry subject experts for review using a pre-validated, semi-structured objective checklist. Participant feedback was gathered and analyzed using content analysis.

Reliability analysis of the review of the QPs showed statistically significant, good consistent agreement. Significant improvement in the overall quality of the QPs and paper-setting skills due to blueprinting was observed, ensuring high content validity of the assessment. The favorable effect of blueprinting on the reliability and validity of the assessment was also found. Categorically distributing weightage for recall, comprehension, and application was perceived by participants to be a novel concept.

All participants agreed with the need for blueprinting for quality assessment in formative and summative theory examinations. Similarly, a previous study[5] also endorsed the influence of blueprinting in negating threats to assessment, like underrepresentation and construct-irrelevant variance. Blueprints, with regular necessary updates and peer review, can safeguard the attainment of learning objectives.

Overall, study participants were convinced of the role of blueprinting in making assessment more congruent with objectives, content area, and curriculum; and recommended its implementation to improve the reliability and content validity of the assessment. In a phase-wise manner, the blueprinting process can be shared with other institutional faculty and other medical institutes through FDPs. The internally validated weightage needs to be widely peer-reviewed. More studies along similar lines using the blueprinting process can be initiated pertaining to other subjects in the undergraduate curriculum. Moreover, blueprinting in assessment can be promoted and enforced by health science universities as well as regulatory agencies, like the National Medical Commission, to accomplish the core objectives of medical education.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Patke V, Dahake H, Kuyare S. Evaluation of quality of MBBS Biochemistry theory question papers of medical institutions in Maharashtra. Int J Res Med Sci 2017;5:4336-43.  Back to cited text no. 1
Patil SY, Hashilkar NK, Hungund BR, Sunita D, Patil Y. Blueprinting in Assessment: How much is imprinted in our practice? J Edu Res Med Teach 2014;2:4-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
Patil SY, Gosavi M, Bannur HB, Ratnakar A. Blueprinting in assessment: A tool to increase the validity of undergraduate written examinations in pathology. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2015;5:S76-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
McLaughlin K, Lemaire J, Coderre S. Creating a reliable and valid blueprint for the internal medicine clerkship evaluation. Med Teach 2005;27:544-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gujarathi AP, Dhakne-Palwe S, Patil RN, Gedam PB, Mahale MS, Shriram V, et al. Preparation of blue prints for formative theory assessment of undergraduate medical students in community medicine. J Med Sci 2015;2:100-3.  Back to cited text no. 5


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