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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 206-213

Changing assessment scenarios: Lessons for changing practice

1 Department of Physiology, Smt N H L Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 M and J Western Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Adesh Medical College and Hospital, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India
4 Department of Pharmacology, Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda, India
5 Department of Medical Education, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Mahajan
Department of Pharmacology, Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijabmr.IJABMR_334_21

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Assessment is a process that includes ascertainment of improvement in the performance of students over time, motivation of students to study, evaluation of teaching methods, and ranking of student capabilities. It is an important component of the educational process influencing student learning. Although we have embarked on a new curricular model, assessment has remained largely ignored despite being the hallmark of competency-based education. During the earlier stages, the assessment was considered akin to “measurement,” believing that competence is “generic, fixed and transferable across content,” could be measured quantitatively and can be expressed as a single score. The objective assessment was the norm and subjective tools were considered unreliable and biased. It was soon realized that “competence is specific and nontransferable,” mandating the use of multiple assessment tools across multiple content areas using multiple assessors. A paradigm change through “programmatic assessment” only occurred with the understanding that competence is “dynamic, incremental and contextual.” Here, information about the students' competence and progress is gathered continually over time, analysed and supplemented with purposefully collected additional information when needed, using carefully selected combination of tools and assessor expertise, leading to an authentic, observation-driven, institutional assessment system. In the conduct of any performance assessment, the assessor remains an important part of the process, therefore making assessor training indispensable. In this paper, we look at the changing paradigms of our understanding of clinical competence, corresponding global changes in assessment and then try to make out a case for adopting the prevailing trends in the assessment of clinical competence.

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