Mapping undergraduate exit-level assessment in a medical programme: A blueprint for clinical competence?

  • C P L Tan
  • S C van Schalkwyk
  • J Bezuidenhout
  • F Cilliers


Background. Assessment is an essential component of a medical curriculum. High-stakes exit-level assessment used for licensing and certification
purposes needs to be sound. Even though criteria for evaluating assessment practices exist, an analysis of the nature of these practices is first required.
Objective. To map current exit-level assessment practices, as described in institutional documentation.
Methods. This descriptive interpretive study centred on the document analysis of final-phase study guides of the undergraduate medical programme
at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
Results. The key findings were: (i) there is a diversity of methods and approaches to assessment in the final-phase modules; (ii) modules using similar
assessment methods applied different credit weightings; (iii) similar assessment methods were described differently across the study guides; and (iv) study
guides varied in the amount of information provided about the assessment methods.
Conclusion. There is a diverse range of assessment practices at exit level of the MB,ChB programme at Stellenbosch University. This in-depth analysis
of assessment methods has highlighted areas where current practice needs to be investigated in greater depth, and where shifts to a more coherent
practice should be encouraged. Assessment mapping provides a useful reference for programme co-ordinators and is applicable to other programmes.


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