Terrific T6 talks – Assessment

In Education & Quality Improvement by Nadim Lalani1 Comment

from Carleton University TA Teaching Support Website


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Carleton University has a neat resource for TA’s that is useful for all wanna-be educators.

Here are tips for Clinicians regarding assessment of your trainees:

360 Evaluation [aka multi-source feedback]

  • Increasingly being used for formative and summative feedback to trainees
  • Lets you know the things that everyone else thinks and says about your learners, but rarely tell you – very valuable in assessing competencies such as “professional” and “communicator” and “collaborator”

Direct Observation

  • Stressful and a bit awkward/artificial, but the richness of the assessment (formative) is incredible.
  • We rarely watch each other taking a history, talking to a consultant or interacting with allied health.
  • The number of small conflicts that arise, and the number of situations with distractions can really create an opportunity for an observer to give feedback on non-medical expert CanMEDS roles, that are not easily assessed in traditional formats.
  • Needs to be done by someone who is NOT the shift preceptor.[i.e. faculty “drops in on learner’s shift for a few hours”]

  Final exams

  • Controversial in terms of valid assessments of knowledge acquisition. But right now it’s the best we have. This article argues for more longitudinal assessment – and I would have to agree link.
  • Takes a lot of work from faculty to create exams – but it’s good CME.
  • The final exam itself is not a great tool, but the preparation for it is a great motivator.  [If people can not handle the stress of the exam prep, then perhaps they are not able to handle the stressors of being an ER physician].

The Learning Pyramid:

No-one can find the original research that this is based on – so some people question the validity. Nevertheless what the diagram shows [and I have to agree] is that we spend a lot of time and effort on passive activities that may not result in knowledge acquisition. The more experiential the learning the better – it also means that we should be spending more time observing learners doing and teaching and base our assessments on that.

Nadim is an emergency physician at the South Health Campus in Calgary, Alberta. He is passionate about online learning and recently made a transition into human performance coaching. He is currently working on introducing the coaching model into medical education.