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AbstractBackground: Methods chosen for assessment and the manner in which they are applied are so intimately associated with how individuals learn that developing appropriate assessment strategies is a key part of effective curriculum development. The assessment cycle: We describe a four-stage assessment cycle identifying important steps in assessment. Each step is described in detail, stressing its key aspects, including: the need for clear assessment policy and strategy, the importance of assessment blueprints in planning assessment, the need for effective feedback when presenting results, and the essential, but often overlooked, need to evaluate the assessment process itself. Evaluating assessment: This final evaluation stage is the most important part of the assessment cycle and can be divided into four levels. The first level includes evaluating each question in the assessment, the second level is concerned with establishing validity and reliability, the third level centres on the assessment process and review of assessments by external examiners and the fourth level involves evaluation over several assessments. Relating assessment to the curriculum: This long-term evaluation should examine whether existing assessments are congruent with the curriculum and relate to all facets of the students' learning experiences. This is particularly important in a curriculum where the learning outcomes of student-centred learning are emphasized. Changes in the assessment of postgraduate trainees and increasing emphasis on peer review of clinicians will raise the profile of these outcomes in undergraduate education.
Fowell, S. L., Southgate, L. J. and Bligh, John <http://orca.cf.ac.uk/view/cardiffauthors/A180105A.html> 1999. Evaluating assessment: the missing link? Medical Education 33 (4) , pp. 276-281. 10.1046/j.1365-2923.1999.00405.x <http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2923.1999.00405.x>