Formative Assessments for Medical Students

April 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

One of my friends, traveling in Australia and attending the LearnX conference,  alerted me to a study by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at The University of New South Wales that I thought might be useful after my post on the various Types of Assessments.

The study set out to determine whether participation and performance in integrated online formative assessments in the biomedical sciences has measurable effects on learning by junior medical students. Students enrolled in Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2) of an undergraduate Medicine program were studied in 2006 and 2007. The researchers analyzed end-of-course summative exam marks in seven consecutive courses to study the effect of participation and performance in voluntary online formative assessments. Students shared their perceptions about the formative assessments using online evaluation surveys – and rated them highly.

imageAn example of the data being presented in the report is shown to the level.  What’s more, participation in formative assessments had a statistically significant positive relationship with EOC marks in all courses. The results of the study support the contention that "well designed formative assessments can have significant positive effects on learning. There is untapped potential for use of formative assessments to assist learning by medical students and postgraduate medical trainees."

You will find an abstract of this study on BioMed Central (but beware there is at least one “medical” graphic in the actual report):


Entry filed under: Assessment, Professional Life. Tags: , , , , .

Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely Criterion-Referenced Test Development 3rd Edition

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