Sound Assessment Essay

850 Words4 Pages
Guidelines for sound assessment practice of undergraduate medical students
Assessment is defined in the Merriam – Webster Dictionary as “the act of making a judgement about something” and thus connotes a worthwhile activity based on sound, careful thought. In Education, assessment has been variously defined as “any systematic method for obtaining information from tests and other sources, used to draw inferences about characteristics of people, objects or programs” (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999, p.172); “any purported and formal action to obtain information about the competence and performance of a candidate’ (Schuwirth & van der Vleuten, 2014. p.243). Generally, assessment has three purposes. First, to determine what students do and do not know,
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This is referred to as formative assessment. Second, it is used for certification for progress; and third, as a tool to determine who is granted a privilege such as board certification or graduation and thus serves the role of accountability or quality assurance to stakeholders. The stakeholders involved in the context of undergraduate medical education include patients, general public, healthcare employers, professional and regulatory bodies, training organizations, universities, medical schools, the examinees and individual teachers (Amin et al. 2006). The second and third purposes of assessment are included under summative assessment. Thus, assessment provides us with the opportunity to ‘discover the worth’ and to ‘improve the quality’ of education. The process of achieving these two goals of ‘discovery of worth’ and ‘improvement of quality’ constitute sound assessment practice which must meet the following criteria: validity or coherence, reproducibility or consistency, equivalence, feasibility,…show more content…
the relationship between an assessment and the construct (“personal psychological characteristic that cannot be observed directly but which is assumed to exist”) it purports to measure; and the interpretations of the test scores based on the assessment- the so-called validity argument.

This has been likened to the process of presenting evidence in a legal argument by a lawyer to a judge or jury in order to arrive at a decision of conviction or acquittal. Usually, such argument consists of numerous fragments of evidence, individually incomplete but collectively sufficient to convince the jury in arriving at a decision. The decision will be hinged on the strength, completeness and relevance of the evidence, the organisation and persuasion of the attorney’s reasoning, and the personal feelings of those rendering judgement.
The educator then develops a plan to test these assumptions and inferences. Finally, guided by this plan, he or she collects empiric evidence from multiple sources and organises this evidence into a validity
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