Answer to "What methods of assessment are appropriate?"
Editor: Marjan Govaerts
Basically, all assessment formats and methods may be incorporated in assessment programmes that are designed according to programmatic assessment theory. Within programmatic assessment, any single (low-stakes) assessment needs to be optimized for learning, supporting learner’s ongoing development and growth. This means that assessment methods are to be carefully selected, matching learning tasks and intended learning outcomes (‘constructively aligned’). Consequently, depending on learning goals and assessment purposes, assessment methods can and should be purposively sampled from any layer of Miller’s pyramid, be it standardized written tests, assignments, oral exams, OSCEs, or Mini-CEXs. Similarly, assessments may include peer-assessment, 360-degree feedback procedures and/or self-assessment.
Essentially, programmatic assessment requires that all assessments are designed to generate meaningful information for future learning. Obviously, meaningful performance feedback provides information in relation to performance standards. Carefully designed low-stakes assessments thus automatically reinforce / support (high stakes) decision making processes within programmatic assessment approaches.
Progress testing (or any other type of longitudinal repeated measures assessment) may be particularly suitable for programmatic assessment purposes, as it avoids encouraging of test-directed learning and promotes use of assessment feedback for ongoing performance improvement. Similarly, use of portfolios to collect assessment (performance) data and to support the learner’s reflection on task performance as well as goal setting for future learning, seems like an obvious choice in programmatic assessment approaches.
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