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Webcast Audio Seminar Series

 

Innovative Models for Student Assessment and Course Evaluation

Too often we fail to adequately assess students' achievement of knowledge, skills and attitudes that they will need to practice medicine. In so doing, we must adequately prepare students by integrating their higher-order knowledge of medical science linked with critical appraisal and reasoning processes vital for quality patient care.

We need to stimulate profound learning that applies scientific principles in appropriate clinical contexts, whether that learning is assessed through such methods as written/oral exams, essays, simulations or other means.

This seminar series will highlight established approaches and innovative methods which assure that students learn what we believe to be important qualities for blended scientific medical knowledge and essential therapeutic practices. Each seminar will address creative assessment tools to reliably link scientific and clinical applications so that our students are adequately prepared for their next stage of medical training.  In addition, the quality of our instructional efforts will be presented from peer and students' perspectives.


Oct. 1 12:00 pm ET Longitudinal Evaluation of Student Progress: McMaster University Model

Oct. 8

12:00 pm ET

Assessments That Matter: Beyond Knowledge and Recall of Factual Information

Oct. 15

12:00 pm ET

Principles That Drive Innovation in Assessment and Evaluation

Oct. 22

12:00 pm ET

Evaluating Learning in the Classroom

Nov. 12

12:00 pm ET

Applying Principles of Continuous Quality Improvement in the Course Evaluation Process
Nov. 19 12:00 pm ET Students' Perspective of Assessment
 

Longitudinal Evaluation of Student Progress: the McMaster University Model

Fostering collaborative small group tutorial PBL has long been the hallmark of undergraduate medical education at McMaster.  The recognition that, irrespective of curriculum design, the evaluation process of the medical school will ultimately drive student learning, has stimulated the development of evaluation tools that encourage the desired learning activities.

Students at McMaster are evaluated in tutorial in the domains of Professional Behaviour, Contribution to Group Process and Contribution to Group Content, but since we have evidence that tutors cannot adequately assess students' content knowledge and conceptual understanding, objective assessment on a longitudinal basis has been introduced over the years.  Thus the PPI, (Personal Progress Index) the CAE and the Critical Thinking Portfolio have been developed and evaluated.

In this presentation, Dr. Neville will outline how these evaluation tools have been used to provide a longitudinal assessment of medical students at McMaster.  In addition he will describe some unintended consequences of the administration of these evaluation tools that encourage speculation that medical education programs might be regarded as Complex Adaptive Systems

Presenter:  Dr. Alan Neville

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Assessments That Matter: Beyond the Knowledge of Recall and Factual Information

A firmly held belief in medical education is that assessment drives learning. Medical students adapt themselves to what they need to learn to succeed for the test.  It follows that various formats of tests foster various kinds of study, learning, and retention among medical students.  Essay examinations are held to be superior to multiple choice tests in promoting more desirable study methods and higher performance on tasks requiring organization and deeper comprehension and analysis of information.  Multiple-choice tests are viewed as promoting less desirable study methods and more superficial comprehension since students are required to choose the correct answer from among a list of alternatives.  Underlying this attitude is the notion that patients come to physicians with open-ended questions and not with lists of five alternatives. The Fall IAMSE Web Audio Seminar Series will discuss qualities of assessments that drive appropriate student learning.  During this seminar, educators will consider how assessments used may contribute to better educated and more proficient doctors.   

Presenter:  Dr. Klara K. Papp, Case Western Reserve University
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Principles That Drive Innovation in Assessment and Evaluation

Evaluation is the process of comparing outcomes with expectations.  As such, understanding outcomes requires understanding expectations.  When conducting an evaluation, faculty become "meta-students" in that they learn about their teaching.  This learning process is easily described by the Experiential Learning Cycle (Kolb, 1984) to help us understand the factors that influence future teaching behaviors.  We choose behaviors in our attempt to "self-correct" so we can achieve the best match between outcomes and expectations.  However, life gets in the way - because life is complicated.  Compared to the highly controllable simplicity of recall level learning, the complexity involved in teaching higher order thinking skills (HOTS) creates opportunities for dysfunctional self-correction as well as healthy self-correction. 

In this one-hour Audio Seminar, Dr. Pelley will relate the evaluation process to the Kolb experiential learning cycle in order to create a context for self-corrective behavior.  Examples of both healthy and dysfunctional self-correction will highlight the difficulty faculty have in coping with the more challenging reliability and validity standards that accompany HOTS.  An example drawn from Jungian personality types will be used to illustrate how different personality preferences predispose some individuals to expect different outcomes from the same learning experience.  The inseparability of evaluation and experiential learning will be illustrated with two methods for evaluating higher order thinking skills: 1) peer evaluation and 2) scored concept maps.  First, a peer evaluation training exercise suitable for small group problem solving will be described in order to illustrate the teaching of the metacognitive principles in problem solving.  This will be followed by a scoring system reported by West, et al., (2000) for concept map construction that drives deep learning during both individual preparation and group activities. 

Presenter:  Dr. John Pelley

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Evaluating Learning in the Classroom

Too often the basic science classroom is not a place where learning takes place but a location where information is transferred from instructor to student - that is, if the students even bother to show up. This session will continue the theme started in the 2006 seminar series, Learner-Centered Strategies for the Lecture Hall, and discuss strategies for enticing students into the lecture hall and for using electronic response systems ("clickers") to keep them interested and involved. In addition, we will examine the stereotyped student reaction to being asked to learn in a unfamiliar way as well as the challenges facing faculty who are trying to make the transition from traditional lecturing to an interactive classroom.

Dr. Dee Silverthorn

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Applying Principles of Continuous Quality Improvement in the Course Evaluation Process

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) model is commonly associated with the business sector. It emerged from the work of W. Edwards Deming that described its philosophy around 4 themes: 1) outputs must conform to requirements and meet customer expectations; 2) monitoring and evaluating are prospective as well as retrospective; 3) quality is a total organizational responsibility; and 4) quality improvement focuses on inputs and processes, not just outputs.

Traditionally, instruction and curriculum evaluation occur through quantitative course evaluations administered following course completion. The goal of this session is to demonstrate the application of CQI principles in the curriculum evaluation and integration process. It will describe, through the experience of two medical schools, a process of constructive self-study that results in meaningful recommendations for improvement of instruction, curriculum design and integration.

Dr. Thomas Viggiano, Mayo Medical School;
Dr. Nehad I. El-Sawi, KCUMB Institute for Medical Education Innovation

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Students' Perspective of Assessment

Assessment is a process that allows both the teacher and the learner to assess what the learner knows. To date, we have been talking about assessment from the assessors, or from a 'tools', point of view. In this session, we will bring the assessee to the table to hear their perspective.

Hill, Guinea and McCarthy, in a paper on student's perspective on formative assessment methods (Medical Education, 1994) reported overwhelming support for formative assessment among students. Students favored the structured short answer as a method for reinforcing previous teaching, and testing problem solving skills, in comparison wit MCQs, which were less favorably supported.  In a more recent study on students perspectives comparing four different assessment methods, namely, Triple Jump Test, essay incorporating critical thinking questions, Multistation Integrated Practical Examination and multiple choice questions, Abraham and colleagues (Advan. Physiol. Edu. 29: 94-97, 2005) were unable to demonstrate a favored method of assessment.

Dr. Niamh Kelly, a faculty member at UBC's medical school will be joined by second year medical students at her institution in a discussion on Student's Perspectives on Assessment. In preparing for this session, Niamh would like to give the students some questions to think about, that they can then speak to in the session. She invites you to submit questions ahead of the session so that your particular question can be addressed by the students. E-mail questions to niamh@interchange.ubc.ca

Dr. Niamh Kelly, University of British Columbia

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