Introduction to Assessment

Good assessment sits at heart of Leeds MBChB programme - to guide our students towards success, assist academic staff and innovation in the course and most of all, to ensure those students who demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes progress through the course and graduate to be amongst the UK’s best doctors. We take assessment very seriously, with a huge amount of time, energy and expertise expended to ensure we have a fair and high quality process – and hold ourselves accountable for its success. This has led to lots of innovation to improve your experience on the course – e.g. using mobile technology to deliver better assessment and feedback and introducing sequential testing to make our exams ‘even fairer’.

There is lots of information about in terms of assessments, with specific year guides and other material, but we know assessment and exams generate lots of anxiety (for staff too!). We have put this guide together to help students see ‘at a glance’ what you need to know about assessment year by year – with all the detailed information still in the Code of Practice on Assessment . We aim to launch a similar ‘quick feedback guide’ soon, so you can see how feedback is shaped across the course, and more importantly how to get the best out of it!

Assessment in Leeds is a partnership between academic and clinical staff, employers, patients and students. A number of students get involved each year to help us, and if this is of interest to you, let us know. This can range from working with the MSRC, projects with the assessment and technology groups through to intercalated degrees in medical education including assessment research projects.

Finally – if you have suggestions about improving this guide, please let me know!

Richard Fuller, Director, MBChB.

What’s Assessment all about?

Our assessment is designed with three groups of people in mind:

  1. For our students – engaging with the course, improving ability and demonstrating your achievement
  2. For the University and teaching staff – to understand how students are progressing with teaching programmes, adapting our teaching to help students and innovating the course
  3. For patients, employers and the GMC – to show the rigour of our overall process of assessment, our curriculum and the standards and excellence of our graduates

What is the Leeds MBChB Assessment Framework about?
We have five guiding principles:

  1. Less assessment and better assessment – more focus on using assessment in-course to guide your progress and prepare you for higher stakes progression exams at the end of each academic year. This has already shown student groups performing better, even with more challenging end of year assessments
  2. Authenticity – testing common, important material that is set at an appropriate level for your year of study (which means we move towards more challenging, integrated assessments in years 4 and 5)
  3. Achievement – our ethos is that the programme of teaching and assessment means you start work as an excellent junior doctor. We’re incredibly proud of our students, so life isn’t ‘just’ about passing, but celebrating how much you’ve achieved. To this end, we continue to expand the number of prizes and commendations available – not just for exam success, but for innovation and enterprise. This also extends to supporting students in competing for national prizes, working as student ambassadors etc.
  4. Assessment for learning – a big component of the course is setting up assessment to help you learn and judge how well you’re doing. This includes using weekly on line quizzes, practice and mock questions/OSCEs and regular workplace assessment during placements. We are also redesigning ways of giving you better feedback, especially after end of year exams.
  5. Student Owned Assessment – make assessment work for you! Using tools such as workplace assessment via mobile technology are all designed to help you be in charge of assessment, get feedback on areas of strength and weakness and plan ahead. We are also investing in self assessment which you can access at home or ‘on the go’ to help with revision and prep.