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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Assessment Policy for Phase 1

Assessments 

Summative assessments evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing the student’s score against a standard or benchmark. Students are expected to achieve passing scores on all summative assessments including, but not limited to, written examinations, oral examinations and performance assessments (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, Clinical Performance Evaluations, and practical exams). Faculty determine the passing scores for each assessments, which will vary by module and type. Students who do not pass a summative assessment must remediate it.  

Formative assessments include peer feedback and do not count towards the final grade. 

Grades 

Grades, which will be recorded on the official transcript, will be determined at the conclusion of each academic block (each block is comprised of 2-4 organ-based modules).  A composite score will be calculated from the various summative assessments administered within each module, according to the relative contribution of each Element/Thread as indicated in the block assessment blueprint which is distributed at the beginning of each block.  The block faculty and faculty from the Assessment Subcommittee conduct a standard setting exercise to set the passing cut point for each block. 

Grades Earned: Students whose composite block scores are greater than the passing cut point will receive a grade of “Pass” for the block.  Students whose composite scores are below the passing cut point will need to meet with Augusta Webster Office of Medical Education faculty to develop a study plan. Once the work has been successfully remediated, a grade of “Pass” will be entered on the student’s transcript. A grade of “fail” will only appear on the transcript if a student is unable to successfully pass the required block remediation after multiple attempts or if a student does not participate in the approved study plan. Students who are marginally above the passing cut point will be notified that their performance was very close to the cut point and will be asked to meet with Augusta Webster Office of Medical Education faculty to help develop an improvement plan. These internal designation of “pass with notification” is known to the student but does not appear on their official transcript.  

Students with a repetitive pattern of poor academic performance will be referred to the Student Promotions Committee. Please see the SPC policy for more details.  

 

Related LCME Standard 
9.4 Assessment System 

Last Updated: 1/28/2019