Background: Medical education is a dynamic process that will continuously evolve to respond to changes in the foundations of medicine, the clinical practice of medicine and in health systems science. Purpose: In this paper, we review how assessing learning in such a dynamic environment requires comprehensive flexible and adaptable methodological approaches designed to assess knowledge attainment and transfer, clinical skills/competency development, and ethical/professional behavior. Adaptive assessments should measure the learner’s ability to observe where changes in health care delivery are needed and how to implement them. Balancing formative and summative assessments will promote reflective learning so that each student will reach her/his highest potential. From the programmatic perspective, measuring the design and delivery of instruction in relation to students? efforts to achieve competency will improve learning and foster continuous professional development of faculty and advance the science of learning. Approach: We describe how two medical schools are approaching adaptive assessment, including using portfolio systems that encompass teaching and learning experiences while offering real-time longitudinal tracking of digital data toward improving learning and provide curricula continuous improvement cycles. Using latest technologies, portfolios produce actionable data displays with precise guidance for learning and program development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas