Chair: Iain Robinson, Co-chair: Kevin Brandom | 9th March 2021, 12:30 -15:30 (UK’s time)
POST-COVID-19 ERA OF ASSESSMENT Challenges and Solutions
Outbreak of novel Corona virus (COVID-19) has been emerged by the end of 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic and medical schools have been closed. No face to face learning and assessments carry the possibility of infection. Formative, summative exams or even assignments could not be carried out. Now, under these circumstances the challenge is how to continue assessments or program evaluation. This talk is intended to discuss the possible alternatives for assessments and program evaluation. Currently, there are different types of assessment, written, practical and oral assessments.
These can be replaced by an online exam, whether formative or summative one which can be downloaded with a special username and password sent to each student. Different types of assessments e.g. multiple choice questions (MCQs) with or without case scenario, extended matching questions (EMQs), short essay questions (SEQs), etc. Practical exams can also be uploaded in the form of figures, diagrams for specimens, organs, X-ray or epidemiologic curve, etc,. Computer based simulator with clinical scenario can also be used. Oral exams are no longer done in integrated medical program. Other types of assessments as e-portfolio can be prepared by each student and uploaded through the official website of the institution. Portfolio can allow learners to display their individual learning activities.
It can help teachers monitor and evaluate learning progress over time. However, a debate may arise if portfolios are viewed as burdensome, rather than as a vital instructional strategy and assessment option. Surveys, questionnaires or peer assessments, can also be filled in as a part of evaluation of the whole program. Nevertheless, official websites, emails, links etc., should be secured, otherwise highjack may occur. The application of online assessment carries a great challenge for both learners and teachers. Students should be trained for this type of assessment. Actually, in Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine, formative exams were carried out in different modules and the students were happy and cooperative. Faculty development is in the core of the educational process.
Different training courses were given to train our staff on how to prepare and upload a teaching course or exam. Different programs as Microsoft team, Coursera, Formative, etc,. Currently, these tools of assessments still either tried one or to be tried. So no evaluation are available. In conclusion, recent technology using an official website is the hope to replace face to face and mass group assessments. How portfolios are actually used or not used in medical schools, and whether they produce the desired educational results, will likely determine how they are perceived. Online assessment is now a wise solution to overcome possible transmission of infections particularly in communicable diseases such as Corona virus infection.