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Design the process of conducting assessment
Step 2: Design the process of conducting assessment
The second step of designing an assessment program for rotation is to design the actual process of conducting the assessment. After the overview of the program, the framework of the program has been developed. The first step in that is to identify key elements of the assessment and build those elements into standard assessment forms. The use of forms is very important because it enables the preceptor be more consistent in grading. One other things that’s very important is to ensure fair objective grading, from student to student, and assignment to assignment. If a preceptor has developed specific forms that list criteria, list the rating scales for evaluating each of the criteria for any given activity or assignment.
And every time, assessment is performed as a greater likelihood that the grading will be fair and objective. It’s also important to be constructive in the assessment process. The goal here is to guide students to success. Not just to determine a grade. So the assessment process should be highly formative. Providing continual feedback to help the student understands what he or she needs to do to improve. So they can ultimately achieve the learning outcomes and arrive at the destination. This formative feedback is so important. Remember that’s the cornerstone of a GPS system. The GPS system is constantly providing information about the location of the individual in relation to the destination.
Preceptor has to provide that kind of constant feedback, and let the student know how well they’re doing at any point of time. It relation to the ultimate destinations to the learning outcomes that need to be achieved. It’s also important to provide regular summative feedback. And the formative feedback should be recurring constantly on a daily basis. Letting students know how well they do. And much of that feedback is very informal. Just giving a verbal indication whether the student needs to change what they’re doing or whether to reinforce what they’re doing just so they continue doing it well. The idea of summative feedback is a more formal process that directly tied to the student’s grade for the rotation.
And to do that at least twice during rotation. At the very least the student should receive formal summative feedback at the midpoint of a rotation. So they have an opportunity to make necessary corrections in terms of achieving whatever final grade they want for the rotation. And then certainly at the end of the rotation to explain to the students how his or her grade was determined. It’s important to stay focused on the destination. That assessment is always heavily focused on the learning outcomes and the destination that we want the students to achieve. Here’s an example of a quiz that can be used during a rotation. This is an example of a quiz for automaticity that was discussed during session one.
You recall the idea of automaticity is to have students memorize the most critical fact, most critical elements they need to be able to recall quickly and effortlessly. So they can apply the information rather than struggling to remember it. By giving them memory quizzes, identifying what they need to know well and giving these quizzes repetitively. It helps them develop that knowledge in a very deep manner, so the retention is permanent and the recall is almost instantaneous. Now in this particular automaticity quiz which I call spot quiz number three, what happened to deal with lab values. So in the left-hand column there under parameter with lab values that I wanna the students to know exceedingly well.
The right-hand column lists the normal range for that value at the hospital where the training was taking place. Now it’s important to understand that this material was given to the students on the very first day of the rotation. They were told that on a regular basis that were given the actual date. They would need to pass this quiz that the quiz would consist of simply eliminating the information in the right-hand column. And the students will be expected to enter that information as part of taking the quiz. The passing score on a quiz like this with a hundred percent. Anything wrong and it didn’t count. Students were required to achieve 100 percent score at least three times during rotation.
So there is administered repetitively. Every time the students took the quiz with the exact same quiz. We weren’t trying to trick them. We weren’t asking them to evaluate laboratory levels. We were just asking them to demonstrate that they know the normal range for each of these laboratory values. They also had to know the right units. So, for example, for serum sodium, they listed the units of milligrams per liter rather than equivalents per liter. That was considered wrong. If they listed the answer as 134 to 148, that was wrong. This caused the students to take these very seriously. And they memorize these values well. And I can tell you. I’ve received feedback from students over the years.
When they master these memory quizzes, this information stays in their memory for many many years. It’s a very effective process. Another example of a form for rating student performance for measuring assessment is the rating scale, identifying specific criteria as a checklist. Now this is very significant because when this enables the preceptor to do is to identify a standard rating scale that’s used to rate all of the criteria. So it’s simplifies the student evaluations very significantly. In this case, it was a three-level rating scale with one point being assigned for meets expectations. 0.7 points for partially meets expectations. And no points are unacceptable or incomplete.
Each of the twelve criteria identified in this assessment tool which was used to evaluate the students SOAPing of a patient. Each of the twelve criteria were evaluated using the exact same scale. So the student received 1, 0.7 or 0 of all 12 of the criteria. And then the grade was represented by the average or the sum, in this case, of 12 possible point. Now this is a little different from a grading rubric. And integrating rubric we also identify criteria. This is an example you might not be able to see this very well, but it’s an example of a grading rubric for a verbal presentation. You see the first of the criteria represents the quality of the slides.
The second is how well they delivered the presentations. Their speaking, volume rate, pronunciation so on and so forth. What’s different about this type of grading rubric is that for each of the criteria, we have a four-level rating scale. But the definitions that define the rating scale are specific to each of the criteria. So there’s a different description of what a 9 to 10, an 8 to 9, a 7 to 8 or a 0 to 7 represent for each of the criteria. It provides the students with much more detail and much more specificity. It’s how they’re going to be graded for each of the criteria of the assignment. Lastly, in considering assessment and grading of students on a rotation.
There’s the concern about grade inflation. And this is even more of a concern on rotation generally as it isn’t didactic courses. There’s a natural tendency for preceptors who are going to get to know their students very well over the weeks of a rotation. And it oftentimes develop a relationship with students. They want to give the student a good grade. The best way to resist that temptation is to have a very straightforward, well-defined assessment program with rating forms, clear criteria and a distinctly defined rating scale for each of the assignments. In that way, as a greater likelihood that the grading will be fair and objective.
And ultimately, by using a very systematic assessment process, the preceptor can assume that they’re actually giving a grade to the student. The student is earning the grade himself or herself.
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Preceptors do not “give” out grades, but rather students “earn” them.
Consistency , fairness and objectivity are the most important rules to conduct an assessment. We want the students to achieve success, and learn to overcome difficulties.
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