The rationale for and use of assessment frameworks: improving assessment and reporting quality in medical education
Pearce, J and Edwards, D and Fraillon, J and Coates, H and Canny, B and Wilkinson, D, The rationale for and use of assessment frameworks: improving assessment and reporting quality in medical education, Perspectives on Medical Education, 4, (3) pp. 110-118. ISSN 2212-2761 (2015) [Refereed Article]
An assessment framework provides a structured conceptual map of the learning outcomes of a programme of study along with details of how achievement of the outcomes can be measured. The rationale for using frameworks to underpin the targeting of essential content components is especially relevant for the medical education community. Frameworks have the capacity to improve validity and reliability in assessment, allowing test developers to more easily create robust assessment instruments. The framework used by the Australian Medical Assessment Collaboration (AMAC) is an interesting and relevant case study for the international community as it draws and builds on established processes in higher education assessment. The AMAC experience offers an insight into important considerations for designing assessment frameworks and implementing frameworks in differing contexts. There are lessons which have the potential to improve assessment and reporting practice and quality in not only medical education, but in other domains of assessment. Prior to implementing any programme of assessment, the framework considerations outlined here will hopefully improve the quality of assessment and reporting practice by making implicit assumptions explicit, and allowing more critical reflection and evaluation throughout assessment processes.