Mapping undergraduate exit-level assessment in a medical programme : a blueprint for clinical competence?

Tan, Christina Phoay Lay ; Van Schalkwyk, Susan Camille ; Bezuidenhout, Juanita ; Cilliers, Francois (2016-05)

CITATION: Tan, C. P. L., et al. 2016. Mapping undergraduate exit-level assessment in a medical programme: a blueprint for clinical competence? African Journal of Health Professions Education, 8(1):45-49, doi:10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.546.

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ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background. Assessment is an essential component of a medical curriculum. High-stakes exit-level assessment used for licensing and certification purposes needs to be sound. Even though criteria for evaluating assessment practices exist, an analysis of the nature of these practices is first required. Objective. To map current exit-level assessment practices, as described in institutional documentation. Methods. This descriptive interpretive study centred on the document analysis of final-phase study guides of the undergraduate medical programme at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Results. The key findings were: (i) there is a diversity of methods and approaches to assessment in the final-phase modules; (ii) modules using similar assessment methods applied different credit weightings; (iii) similar assessment methods were described differently across the study guides; and (iv) study guides varied in the amount of information provided about the assessment methods. Conclusion. There is a diverse range of assessment practices at exit level of the MB,ChB programme at Stellenbosch University. This in-depth analysis of assessment methods has highlighted areas where current practice needs to be investigated in greater depth, and where shifts to a more coherent practice should be encouraged. Assessment mapping provides a useful reference for programme co-ordinators and is applicable to other programmes.

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