PI Question Item Writing

Several 90-minute, CME credit approved, peer instruction (PI) question item writing workshops have been conducted since the spring of 2020. Each workshop incorporates elements of a PI session as participants are provided with pre-workshop (preparatory) materials and are given opportunities to apply this information throughout the workshop session through polling questions. The latter part of the workshop session concludes with faculty working to create clinical vignette NBME style PI questions in small groups and reporting out to the larger group. Alternative vignette-style questions are also presented as an additional option for PI question item formats. The following learning objectives are addressed in the workshops as participants:

  • Differentiate test wiseness and irrelevant difficulty clues/flaws in a question item and its distractors
  • Identify steps to writing clinical vignette PI question
  • Apply the steps of writing a PI question to an example
  • Construct a vignette style application PI question


To assist faculty with writing their own PI question items, several faculty resources have been created by COM faculty development.  One of these resources is provided below as it provides a summary of the basic steps of how to write a PI question in a one-page primer.


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Jennifer Lint
Email: jlint@neomed.edu

Curriculum Change Initiative

College of Medicine at NEOMED