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01-10-2016 | Eye-opener | Uitgave 5/2016 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 5/2016

On the issue of costs in programmatic assessment

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 5/2016
Cees P. M. van der Vleuten, Sylvia Heeneman
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Editor’s Note: Commentary by K. Walsh DOI:10.​1007/​s40037-016-0299-8.


Programmatic assessment requires labour and cost intensive activities such as feedback in a quantitative and qualitative form, a system of learner support in guiding feedback uptake and self-directed learning, and a decision-making arrangement that includes committees of experts making a holistic professional judgment while using due process measures to achieve trustworthy decisions. This can only be afforded if we redistribute the resources of assessment in a curriculum. Several strategies are suggested. One is to introduce progress testing as a replacement for costly cognitive assessment formats in modules. In addition, all assessments should be replaced by assessment formats that are maximally aligned with the learning tasks. For performance-based assessment, OSCEs should be sparsely used, while education and work-embedded assessment should be maximized as part of the routine of ongoing instruction and assessment. Information technology may support affordable feedback strategies, as well as the creation of a paper trail on performance. By making more dramatic choices in the way we allocate resources to assessment, the cost-intensive activities of programmatic assessment may be realized.
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