Prof Luke Dawson, University of Liverpool, Dental Hospital, UK

Dr Kathryn Fox University of Liverpool, Dental Hospital, UK

Workshop description

Within medical education, recent data suggests that since the  introduction of high stakes objective assessments, the harm to patients has increased (Eva et al. 2015). Cynics may argue that such statistics simply reflect the ‘blame culture’, and can be explained through the increase in patient complaints and “ambulance chasing” legal practices. However, many of those who are directly involved with teaching undergraduate students will have recognised changes in the ability of many to handle perceived failure (Grant & Dweck 2003; Forsythe & Johnson 2016; Dweck 2002), as well as the numerous students with a directive task approach toward learning, exemplified by the eternal question of ‘Is this going to be on the test? ’. It is likely that these student behaviours, combined with the failure to alter teaching and reductionist assessment practices, is leading to a situation where students are passing the assessments set, but the teaching and assessments are falling short of developing and predicting real word clinical competency (Dawson et al. 2016). Fundamentally, in this paradigm, rather than driving learning, our ‘assessment for learning’ (AFL) practices are encouraging and reinforcing behaviour that is incompatible with producing individuals with ‘an enduring inner passion for learning’, who are ‘highly self-motivated, and seek out opportunities and challenges to advance their knowledge and skills’ (Hodges 2015). The purpose of this workshop is to explore an approach that transforms the principles of AFL into a holistic model of continuous professional development, where the emphasis is on the ‘development of capability’ (Fraser & Greenhalgh 2001) rather than ‘assessment’. It is an model that requires the highest levels of programmatic approaches (van der Vleuten & Schuwirth 2005; van der Vleuten et al. 2012; Eva et al. 2015), where large data and analytics provide the student (and staff) with a detailed insight into the adequacy and stability of their performance across the many contexts, which in-turn drives appropriate student development through timely and supportive feedforward advice (‘coaching’) over how the student can modify their performance (Nicol & Dick 2006)  to meet developmental goals. It is also a model where the point of progression is signalled by the demonstration of appropriate real world capability and trust (Cate 2013; Cate 2005), and not simply when some test(s) is/are ‘passed’ or ‘failed’.

Bibliographic references

Cate, ten, O., 2005. Entrustability of professional activities and competency-based training. Medical education, 39(12), pp.1176–1177.

Cate, ten, O., 2013. Nuts and Bolts of Entrustable Professional Activities. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 5(1), pp.157–158.

Dawson, L.J. et al., 2016. Calling for a re-evaluation of the data required to credibly demonstrate a dental student is safe and ready to practice. European Journal of Dental Education.

Dweck, C.S., 2002. The Development of Ability Conceptions. In Development of Achievement Motivation. San Diego, CA, US: Elsevier, pp. 57–88.

Eva, K.W. et al., 2015. Towards a program of assessment for health professionals: from training into practice. pp.1–17.

Forsythe, A. & Johnson, S., 2016. Thanks, but no-thanks for the feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, pp.1–10.

Fraser, S.W. & Greenhalgh, T., 2001. Coping with complexity: educating for capability. BMJ, 323(7316), pp.799–803.

Grant, H. & Dweck, C.S., 2003. Clarifying Achievement Goals and Their Impact. 85(3), pp.541–553.

Hodges, B.D., 2015. Sea monsters & whirlpools: Navigating between examination and reflection in medical education. Medical Teacher, 37(3), pp.261–266.

Nicol, D.J. & Dick, D.M., 2006. Formative assessment and self‐regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in higher education, 31(2), pp.199–218.

van der Vleuten, C.P.M. & Schuwirth, L.W.T., 2005. Assessing professional competence: from methods to programmes. Medical education, 39(3), pp.309–317.

van der Vleuten, C.P.M. et al., 2012. A model for programmatic assessment fit for purpose. Medical Teacher, 34(3), pp.205–214.