Assessing professional competence: from methods to programmes

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A new perspective on assessment
Van der Vleuten and Schuwirth call our attention to a new perspective on assessment. They invite us to replace the pursuit of the quality of individual assessment methods by appraisal of the assessment programme as a whole. They argue that different compromises will be made on individual methods when we take account of the integral assessment programme. Quality appraisal should not only take account of psychometric criteria, but also educational arguments concerning the impact of assessment on learning. Methods that rely more strongly on judgement and qualitative information may therefore also find their place in our assessment toolkit. (98 words)
Overview box:

What is already known

What this study adds

    • Any method may have utility depending on its use, even less structured and standardised methods

    • We need more methods relying on qualitative information that require professional judgement

    • Assessment is an educational design problem that needs a programmatic approach

Further research

    • Reports of evidence on the utility of integral assessment programmes

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