Reviews

International Best Practices for Evaluation in the Health Professions

THIS TEXT is a result of the 14th Ottawa Conference, Evaluation in the Health Professions, which took place in the US in 2010. By evaluation, the authors principally refer to assessment in healthcare professions. A number of consensus groups were held during the conference, which covered a range of aspects related to assessment.

The authors offer a broad context regarding the history and current practice in evaluation, and then each of the following chapters in the textbook align with one of the consensus group reports.

The criteria for a good assessment are discussed in respect of formative (educational) and summative (establishment of competence) purposes. The authors present seven different, yet related elements that are essential for an effective assessment.

They describe the use of information and communication technology in assessment, then discuss the challenges posed in using such technology, and suggest areas for further research in this area.

The reader’s attention is drawn to research on assessment in medical education. Some useful definitions of research terminology are given, along with a number of different types of research, finishing with six best practices concerning research on assessment practices.

Other areas covered in the text include a focus on delineating the best practices in measuring healthcare team performance; evaluating outcomes of continuing professional development and training; and methods for carrying out workplace-based assessments.

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