Computer Based Assessment at UCSF: What’s Working and Where Do We Want to be?

On Thursday, November 15, faculty and staff from across the campus gathered to share their experiences, success and struggles with high-stakes computer-based testing. The goal for the session, part of the TLC Educational Technology Conference, was to both understand current tools and best practices and generate understanding of what additional features, services, and training are needed by the campus. But as usual at UCSF, the session turned out to be so much more.

I was very impressed how our educators are creating innovative high-stakes computer-based assessment experiences for their learners despite current challenges with our technology infrastructure.

Here are some highlights:

Pilar Bernal de Pheils described how she is revealing the correct answers to her nursing students as soon as they complete their exams to enable to students to both get immediate feedback and also to provide them the option to demonstrate their understanding of the questions they missed.

JoAnne Saxe shared with the audience how she is using asynchronous online case-based discussions using the forum tool in the CLE as assessment to enable her nursing students to apply key concepts taught in a specific course (e.g. clinical pharmacology) and exercise clinical decision-making that requires the learner to draw on knowledge and skills sets acquired from a variety of courses and clinical experience.

Tracy Fulton talked about how she and her colleagues used the quiz tool in the CLE to deliver an innovative practical examination to assess medical students’ knowledge of anatomy, radiology, pathology and histology using multimedia replacing a traditional paper-based practical examination in which students would rotate through stations looking at images and specimens.

Wade Smith recounted his experiences being able to do immediate grading of essay questions in the CLE with his colleagues while some of the 150 medical students in his course were still taking the exam.

In addition the panelists shared their struggles with creating good assessment questions, managing security and issues of professionalism when delivering assessments online.

The panel concluded with a lively discussion about the future of assessment at UCSF and what types of tools we will need to support our educator and to help assess our learner performance. There was general consensus that we will need to be able to better connect the details of our curriculum such as learning objectives and topics taught with the assessment data to better understand how our assessments and curriculum are performing as well as help build better assessments.

So while there is much work still to be done, educators at UCSF are already creating really exciting assessments using the CLE.

Check out the full notes from the session.

One thought on “Computer Based Assessment at UCSF: What’s Working and Where Do We Want to be?

  1. Pingback: Current Topics – Computer-based Assessment, Data Management Plans, and SXSW! « Off the Shelf

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