How will students need/want to be assessed? (Institute of Clinical Sciences led workshop: discussion responses)

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Students increasingly come from primary/secondary school settings where they undergo continual testing and will arrive here with different expectations from previous generations. We need to look at what schools are doing and ensure a smooth transition to HE

Feedback from current students is that they value frequent assessment: to reduce assessment overload, yet meet this desire for frequent feedback on progress, in-course assessment could be replaced with formative assessment, perhaps supported by IT.

Ultimately, assessment methods must change to give a greater emphasis on assessment of skills rather than knowledge recall. There needs to be more opportunity for reflecting on and learning from failure. Assessing students’ ability to work collaboratively as part of a multi-professional team is likely to become increasingly important. Professional aspects such as these could perhaps be assessed through judicious use of Situational Judgement Tests, again supported by IT. However, face to face OSCEs will still be important.

There will need to be an increased emphasis on adaptive learning and assessment. Students will need to be able to learn at their own pace, to progress and ultimately graduate with a variation of outcomes based on their performance , e.g. a third class degree all the way to a Masters level degree. Such an adaptive approach may then lend itself to allowing students to personalise/customise their studies choosing subjects from a broad curriculum. Could adaptive learning include the introduction of non-time limited exams (assessment at students’ own pace to complement learning at their own pace)?

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