On the issue of costs in programmatic assessment
SourcePerspectives on Medical Education, 5, 5, (2016), pp. 303-7
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Perspectives on Medical Education
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Programmatic assessment requires labour and cost intensive activities such as feedback in a quantitative and qualitative form, a system of learner support in guiding feedback uptake and self-directed learning, and a decision-making arrangement that includes committees of experts making a holistic professional judgment while using due process measures to achieve trustworthy decisions. This can only be afforded if we redistribute the resources of assessment in a curriculum. Several strategies are suggested. One is to introduce progress testing as a replacement for costly cognitive assessment formats in modules. In addition, all assessments should be replaced by assessment formats that are maximally aligned with the learning tasks. For performance-based assessment, OSCEs should be sparsely used, while education and work-embedded assessment should be maximized as part of the routine of ongoing instruction and assessment. Information technology may support affordable feedback strategies, as well as the creation of a paper trail on performance. By making more dramatic choices in the way we allocate resources to assessment, the cost-intensive activities of programmatic assessment may be realized.
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