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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-34

Scope of informal assessments in the delivery of competency-based medical education


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission13-Oct-2019
Date of Decision06-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance16-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Professor Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_80_19

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  Abstract 


The process of assessment casts a significant positive influence-cum-motivation for the learners in any field of education, and the same applies to medical education as well. The assessments in each year of the academic course can be either formal or informal. For a significant period of time, only formal assessments have been given priority, while the informal assessments have been ignored. However, in the programmatic assessment and the assessments which has been proposed as a part of the newly introduced competency based undergraduate curriculum for the 2019 academic year, a significant weightage has been given to the informal assessments. In conclusion, amidst the paradigm shift from input-based to outcome-oriented competency-based education, the need of the hour is to reform the pattern of assessment and include informal assessments in the overall system to strengthen and validate the high-stakes decision and facilitate learning among the students.

Keywords: Competency, informal assessments, medical education


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Scope of informal assessments in the delivery of competency-based medical education. MAMC J Med Sci 2020;6:33-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Scope of informal assessments in the delivery of competency-based medical education. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 4];6:33-4. Available from: http://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2020/6/1/33/283513




  Introduction Top


The process of assessment casts a significant positive influence-cum-motivation for the learners in any field of education, and the same applies to medical education as well.[1] Considering the facts that assessment derives learning and that all core competencies required by a medical graduate cannot be assessed in the summative assessments, it is quite essential to understand that the process of assessment has to be continuous and well-planned.[1] The ultimate aim of assessment has to be to test the learning of students in all the required competencies, which will aid them to become a competent graduate.[2]


  Types of Assessments Top


The assessments in each year of the academic course can be either formal (including formative assessments, internal assessments, and summative assessments) or informal (those assessments which happen on a daily basis and include the component of feedback).[1],[2] In general, formal assessments are the main responsibilities of the department and the institute, while informal assessments are predominantly restricted to students–teacher interactions. For a significant period of time, only formal assessments have been given priority, especially in terms of taking a high stakes decision while the informal assessments have varied based on teachers’ perspective.


  Informal Assessments Top


However, in the programmatic assessment and the assessments which have been proposed as a part of the newly introduced competency-based undergraduate curriculum for the 2019 academic year, a significant weightage has been given to the informal assessments.[3] The good thing about informal assessment is that it will aid in measuring the progress of the students in acquiring core knowledge, problem-solving skills, and different levels in various domains of learning.

In addition, as these informal assessments are always followed up by a feedback, the students can understand the areas where they are deficient and how best the existing gaps can be bridged. Considering that informal assessments are unstructured, it cannot be employed for taking high stakes decision, nevertheless the assessment findings can significantly complement the evidence obtained from the formal assessments.[1],[2],[3]


  Scope of Informal Assessment Top


Moreover, by means of informal assessments we intend to have a concrete view of student learning like attitudes, perceptions, and values. Informal assessments can be performed at the departmental or at the institutional level and can be even utilized to gain an insight about the effectiveness of teaching learning methods or efficiency of teachers or the quality of implementation of the curriculum as a whole. These informal assessments should be followed-up by remedial actions, including mentoring and provision of constructive feedback.[2],[4]


  Tools for Informal Assessment Top


A wide range of tools can be employed for informal assessments, including surveys using questionnaire, direct observation of skills, multisource feedback, focus group discussion, e-learning tools, problem-oriented learning sessions, case-based learning, logbooks, e-portfolios, reflection/narrative writings, etc.[3],[4],[5] At the same time, students might advance in various other aspects and thus we should think of different other tools for informal assessment of learning like assignment grades, satisfaction level of students about their learning/skills, participation of students in research or conference or workshops, awards/ scholarships earned by the students, etc.[2],[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, amidst the paradigm shift from input-based to outcome-oriented competency-based education, the need of the hour is to reform the pattern of assessment and include informal assessments in the overall system to strengthen and validate the high-stakes decision and facilitate learning among the students.

Financial support and sponsorship

None.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Aftab MT, Tariq MH. Continuous assessment as a good motivational tool in medical education. Acta Med Acad 2018;47:76-81.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Tavakol M, Dennick R. The foundations of measurement and assessment in medical education. Med Teach 2017;39:1010-15.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Resorting to programmatic assessment in medical education system in India. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:110-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Min Simpkins AA, Koch B, Spear-Ellinwood K, St John P. A developmental assessment of clinical reasoning in preclinical medical education. Med Educ Online 2019;24:1591257.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Use of e-learning tools for assessment in medical education. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2019;12:284-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  




 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Types of Assessments
Informal Assessments
Scope of Informa...
Tools for Inform...
Conclusion
References

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