A critique of the assessment of professional skills

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D Integration

In the context of a problem-based curriculum, integrated assessment can operate as an effective tool for learning.21 A properly integrated assessment structure can also help create (or maintain) an authentic environment in which to practice relevant professional skills, thereby increasing the perceived relevance of the skills,22 and assisting student retention of knowledge. As Sacks stated in his discussion of student fieldwork:

If an experience seems real, the beneficial effects on students are likely to be several. Students have more interest in the subject matter, and are better motivated to learn. They work harder, and pay closer attention to what is happening. They tend to learn things at a deeper level, and thus to remember them longer. Prejudices and stereotypes are subject to more intensive attack; and feeling of concern about perceived injustice and misery are more easily aroused.23

Authentic assessment entails utilising tasks as closely related as possible to those that would be involved in the profession to which the degree is orientated.24

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