Exam Feedback and Adjunct Faculty

Providing quiz and exam feedback to students without compromising the content’s future use has been a long-term challenge at many medical schools. The OUM Academic Board passed a resolution at its July meeting which outlines a procedure for presenting assessment feedback. Members also passed a resolution that formally establishes adjunct faculty appointments at the University.

“Examination feedback policies are hard to come by at Australia, New Zealand, and US medical schools, so it’s no surprise that OUM likewise hadn’t been able to establish a workable method,” says Scott Cunningham, MD, PhD, Director of Curriculum and author of the resolution. “One struggle has been that, contrary to what one might expect, research has shown that providing assessment feedback has not been an indicator of improved future performance. But OUM students have long requested a process for learning the results of their assessments and some faculty find exam feedback to be helpful, so we have come up with a solution.”

While understanding student desire for feedback after a quiz or exam, faculty has been challenged to find a way to indicate missed concepts without reporting answers to specific questions, which compromises the ability to use those questions again in future exams. All assessments will report on trends that indicate topics needing further study.

Advisors drive assessment feedback

Procedures for providing feedback, which are expected to launch in Term 1801, address each form of assessment experienced by both pre-clinical and clinical students. While course instructors will provide some of the feedback, academic advisors – pre-clinical and clinical – will present one-on-one feedback when requested.

For pre-clinical assessments:

Module instructors will review the weekly quizzes for trends in missed concepts and conduct a 30-minute review at the conclusion of the next scheduled class. The review session will be in addition to the scheduled 90-minute lecture. Students also may request a more individualized assessment of both quizzes and the module’s final exam from their academic advisors, three days before their next meeting, giving advisors time to review and prepare reports on the topics needing further study.

Students must have an academic advisor for the new system to work. Those yet to request an advisor are encouraged to do so in the coming weeks.

For Structured Study Protocol (SSP), Basic Science Immersion (BSI), and USMLE prep:

Dr. Cunningham will continue to provide individualized feedback on the SSP and BSI weekly examinations (as he has since Term 1504), as well as USMLE prep daily examinations for all students.

For the Interval performance examinations (IPEs) and the In-House Examination (IHE):

The academic advisor will provide an individualized review of the IHE, if requested by the student at least three days before the meeting.

For clinical assessments – weekly quizzes, end-of-rotation examinations, and the Final Clinical Exam (FCE):

The clinical student advisor will provide an individualized review of the quizzes or exam, if requested by the student at least three days before they meet.

Again, students yet to secure their academic advisors should contact their regional student affairs representatives to make arrangements.

Adjunct Faculty Appointments Formalized

OUM has been blessed since its inception with a dedicated group of physicians, researchers, and educators who have tirelessly served the medical school and its students without compensation, some for many consecutive years.

To assure the continued support of these valuable contributors to student success, the Academic Board approved definition of a formal program for the recruitment, screening, supervision, and recognition of these individuals as adjunct faculty.

“Adjunct faculty members embody selfless dedication. Their generous contributions of time, talent, and skills represent a commitment to our students, the University, and the future of medicine that we want to nurture. We’re pleased to establish this more formal mechanism to encourage and recognize their continued relationships,” says Chris Dudley, Director of Administration.

An important role at all medical schools, adjunct faculty members are voluntary, unpaid professionals who serve in a variety of manners, from serving on a University committee or acting as preceptors to providing input into a research project or contributing curriculum content. Implementation is expected by Term 1705.