Basic Assessment Definitions

  • Assessment in the process of measurement and/or observation.​
  • Evaluation is the judgement of student performance based on a set of values.​
  • Grading is an administrative action that classifies a level of student performance.​

A basic cycle that demonstrates the process of critical thinking across many disciplines is that observation leads to reflection, which leads to action.  We see this in the above definitions where assessment leads to evaluation, which leads to grading, and it is present in the most basic aspects of what we do as clinicians:  observe (history and physical), diagnose, and treat.  The critical intervention or treatment we engage as educators is feedback.​

“Feedback is the catalyst that converts assessment into learning.”​

As the above statement implies, feedback is the essential element of any successful assessment and evaluation system and will be a central feature in our Programs of Assessment.  Feedback may be classified as formative (not recorded for a grade) or summative (recorded for a grade), but all feedback is critical for the development of our learners.​

Our assessment and evaluation system has been based on the Competencies and Milestones (LINK TO DOCUMENT) and was the first document developed and approved as part of the transformation process.  This assessment framework establishes a developmental approach using clear expectations of learners as they move through the curriculum.  ​

As we implement this transformation, we will be assessing the success through both traditional metrics (USMLE Step scores, program director feedback, etc.), but also through student engagement, achievement emotions, and readiness surveys.  The intent is to create an active process of evidence-based improvement for the entire curriculum moving forward.​