Assessment of anatomical knowledge: Approaches taken by higher education institutions

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Abstract

Assessment serves the primary function of determining a student's competence in a subject. Several different assessment formats are available for assessing anatomical skills, knowledge and understanding and, as assessment can drive learning, a careful selection of assessments can help to engender the correct deep learning facility required of the safe clinical practitioner. The aim of this review was to survey the published literature to see whether higher education institutions are taking an andragogical approach to assessment. Five databases (EMBASE, ERIC, Medline, PubMed, and Web of Knowledge) were searched using standardized search terms with two limits applied (English language, and 2000 to the present). Among the 2,094 papers found, 32 were deemed suitable for this review. Current literature on assessment can be categorized into the following themes: assessment driven learning, types of assessments, frequency of assessments, and use of images in assessments. The consensus is to use a variety of methods, written and practical, to assess anatomical knowledge and skill in different domains. Institutions aim for different levels of Bloom's taxonomy for students at similar stages of their medical degree. Formative assessments are used widely, in differing formats, with mostly good effects on the final examination grade. In conclusion, a wide variety of assessments, each aimed at a different level of Bloom's taxonomy, are used by different institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-299
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date8 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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