Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine

How to Use and Apply Assessment Tools in Medical Education?

Said Said Elshama

Downloads: 8
Views: 1341


Assessment in medical education usually gives the evidence that learning was carried out and the learning objectives were achieved. The assessment program is a measurement tool to evaluate the progress in knowledge, skills, behaviors, and the attitude of students. So, the planning for an effective assessment program should be based on instructional objectives, instructional activities, and efficient assessment methods. Thus, a well-designed assessment procedure should be characterized by validity and reliability. There are two methods for interpreting the results of students’ performance, norm-referenced and criterion-referenced; the first gives a relative ranking of students while the second describes learning tasks that students can and cannot perform. The information that gets from the assessment results should be used effectively to evaluate and revise the instructional course for more improvement. Therefore, the reporting of the assessment results to stakeholders should be clear, comprehensive, and understandable to prevent misinterpretation that may affect students and other stakeholders adversely.


Assessment; Methods; Medical Education


1. Wolming S, Wikstrom C. The concept of validity in theory and practice. Assess Educ Princ Pol Pract. 2010;17(2):117-32. doi: 10.1080/09695941003693856.
2. Gronlund NE. Assessment of Student Achievement. 8th ed. Pearson USA; 2006.
3. Amin Z, Seng CY, Eng KH. Practical Guide to Medical Student Assessment. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. Singapore; 2006.
4. Elshama SS. How to Develop Medical Education (Implementation View). 1st ed. Scholars' Press Germany; 2016.
5. Begum N, Hossain S, Talukder MH. Influence of formative assessment on summative assessment in undergraduate medical students. Bangladesh J Med Educ. 2013;4(1):16-9. doi: 10.3329/bjme.v4i1.32191.
6. Schuwirth LW, van der Vleuten CP. Different written assessment methods: what can be said about their strengths and weaknesses? Med Educ. 2004;38(9):974-979. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2004.01916.x.
7. Nair BR, Parsons K. Performance-based assessment: Innovation in medical education. Arch Med Health Sci. 2014;2:123-5.
8. Schuwirth LW, van der Vleuten CP. ABC of learning and teaching in medicine: Written assessment. BMJ. 2003;326(7390):643-5. doi: 10.1136/bmj.326.7390.643.
9. Palmer EJ, Devitt PG. Assessment of higher order cognitive skills in undergraduate education: modified essay or multiple choice questions? Research paper. BMC Med Educ. 2007;7:49. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-7-49.
10. Al-Wardy NM. Assessment methods in undergraduate medical education. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2010;10(2):203-9.
11. Gibbs T, Brigden D, Hellenberg D. Assessment and evaluation in medical education, S Afr Fam Pract. 2006;48(1):5-7. doi: 10.1080/20786204.2006.10873311.
12. Wood EJ. What are Extended Matching Sets Questions? Biosci Educ J. 2003;1(1):1-8. doi: 10.3108/beej.2003.01010002.
13. Carraccio C, Englander R. The objective structured clinical examination: a step in the direction of competency-based evaluation. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(7):736-41. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.154.7.736.
14. Zayyan M. Objective structured clinical examination: the assessment of choice. Oman Med J. 2011;26(4):219-22. doi: 10.5001/omj.2011.55.
15. Khan A, Ayub M, Shah Z. An audit of the medical students’ perceptions regarding objective structured clinical examination. Educ Res Int. 2016. doi: 10.1155/2016/4806398.
16. Elshama SS. How to Use Simulation in Medical Education. 1st ed. Scholars' Press Germany; 2016.
17. Yanofsky SD, Nyquist JG. Using the Affective Domain to Enhance Teaching of the ACGME Competencies in Anesthesiology Training. J Educ Perioper Med. 2014;12(1):E055.
18. Lurie SJ, Mooney CJ, Lyness JM. Measurement of the general competencies of the accreditation council for graduate medical education: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2009;84(3):301-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181971f08.
19. Boud D, Falchikov N. Aligning assessment with long-term learning. Assess Eval High Educ. 2006;31(4):399-413. doi: 10.1080/02602930600679050.
20. Thistlethwaite J. How to keep a portfolio. Clin Teach. 2006;3(2):118-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2006.00078.x.
21. Haldane T. "Portfolios" as a method of assessment in medical education. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2014;7(2):89-93.
22. Roberts C, Newble DI, O'Rourke AJ. Portfolio-based assessments in medical education: are they valid and reliable for summative purposes? Med Educ. 2002;36(10):899-900. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01288.x.
23. Davis MH, Friedman Ben David M, Harden RM, Howie P, Ker J, McGhee C, et al. Portfolio assessment in medical students' final examinations. Med Teach. 2001;23(4):357-66. doi: 10.1080/01421590120063349.
24. Jenkins L, Mash B, Derese A. Reliability testing of a portfolio assessment tool for postgraduate family medicine training in South Africa. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2013;5(1):577. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v5i1.577.
25. Epstein RM. Assessment in medical education. N Engl J Med. 2007;356(4):387-96. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra054784.
26. McLachlan JC. The relationship between assessment and learning. Med Educ. 2006;40(8):716-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02518.x.
27. Hays R, Gupta TS, Veitch J. The practical value of the standard error of measurement in borderline pass/fail decisions. Med Educ. 2008;42(8):810-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03103.x.
28. Downing SM, Tekian A, Yudkowsky R. Procedures for establishing defensible absolute passing scores on performance examinations in health professions education. Teach Learn Med. 2006;18(1):50-7. doi: 10.1207/s15328015tlm1801_11.
29. Muijtjens AM, Schuwirth LW, Cohen-Schotanus J, Thoben AJ, van der Vleuten CP. Benchmarking by cross-institutional comparison of student achievement in a progress test. Med Educ. 2008;42(1):82-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02896.x.
30. Lok B, McNaught C, Young K. Criterion-referenced and norm-referenced assessments: compatibility and complementarity. Assess Eval High Educ. 2016;41(3):450-65. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1022136.
31. McKinley DW, Norcini JJ. How to set standards on performance-based examinations: AMEE Guide No. 85. Med Teach. 2014;36(2):97-110. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.853119.
32. Cohen-Schotanus J, van der Vleuten CP. A standard setting method with the best performing students as point of reference: practical and affordable. Med Teach. 2010;32(2):154-160. doi: 10.3109/01421590903196979.
33. Allen D, Tanner K. Rubrics: tools for making learning goals and evaluation criteria explicit for both teachers and learners. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2006;5(3):197-203. doi: 10.1187/cbe.06-06-0168.
34. Becker DF, Pomplun MR. Technical reporting and documentation. In: Downing SM, Haladyna TM, editors. Handbook of test development. New York: Routledge; 2006:711-24.
35. Downing SM. Reliability: on the reproducibility of assessment data. Med Educ. 2004;38(9):1006-1012. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2004.01932.x.
36. Wong J, Cheung E. Ethics assessment in medical students. Med Teach. 2003;25(1):5-8. doi: 10.1080/0142159021000061341.
37. Kibble JD. Best practices in summative assessment. Adv Physiol Educ. 2017;41(1):110-9. doi: 10.1152/advan.00116.2016.
38. Downing SM. Validity: on meaningful interpretation of assessment data. Med Educ. 2003;37(9):830-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01594.x.
39. Shumway JM, Harden RM; Association for Medical Education in Europe. AMEE Guide No. 25: The assessment of learning outcomes for the competent and reflective physician. Med Teach. 2003;25(6):569-84. doi: 10.1080/0142159032000151907.
40. Schuwirth LW, van der Vleuten CP. General overview of the theories used in assessment: AMEE Guide No. 57. Med Teach. 2011;33(10):783-97. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.611022.
41. Elfaki OA, Salih KMA. Comparison of Two Standard Setting Methods in a Medical Students MCQs Exam in Internal Medicine. American Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences. 2015;5(4):164-7.
42. Ben-David MF. AMEE Guide No. 18: Standard setting in student assessment, Med Teach. 2000;22(2):120-30. doi: 10.1080/01421590078526.

Submitted date:

Reviewed date:

Accepted date:

Publication date:

5f317d2d0e8825c97665c97b iberoamericanjm Articles
Links & Downloads

Iberoam J Med

Share this page
Page Sections