Assessment and Evaluation in Surgery

Subject MEDS90018 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (intensive delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

Students should expect to undertake a minimum of 120 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in GC-SURGED, GD-SURGED or MC-SURGED. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Award Programs Team

Phone: 61 3 9810 3245


Subject Overview:

Assessment and evaluation are critical elements of education. Formative assessments are designed to support learning while summative (high stakes) assessments are used to make judgements about an individual’s success in an educational program. Both types of assessments and their application in medical and surgical education are explored in detail extending knowledge and skills covered in the core subjects.

Evaluation is the process by which programs are judged to have been successful. Effective program evaluation begins at the planning phase of educational activities. In this subject participants will learn key skills in program evaluation adopting a traditional approach addressing program structure, process and outcomes as well as exploring links between evaluation, decision-making and action and reporting evaluation findings;. Like assessment above, this evaluation topic builds on earlier knowledge and skills of program evaluation from the core subjects.

Although inextricable linked, assessment and evaluation have different functions.

This subject provides the basis for detailed studies on these two critical components of curricula.

The overall aims of the subject are:

  • To review the nature and purpose of assessments in professional education
  • To explore challenges associated with assessments in professional education
  • To explore the range of program evaluation methodologies
Learning Outcomes:

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of assessment in professional development
  2. Identify characteristics of robust assessments
  3. Discuss assessment approaches for different domains (e.g. knowledge, attitude, skills)
  4. Describe features of a range of written assessments (e.g. multiple choice questions - single best answer, extended modified; essays)
  5. Describe features of a range of skill based assessments (e.g. OSCEs, OSATS, DOPS)
  6. Describe features of a range of professional practice assessments (e.g. long cases, short cases, portfolios)
  7. Describe features of a range of workplace based assessments (e.g. case based discussion, mini clinical examination, direct observation of procedural skills, multi source feedback)
  8. Describe the concept of standard setting
  9. Discuss challenges associated with implementing summative assessments including legal issues involved with recording under performance
  10. Describe key features of program evaluation
  11. Design an evaluation strategy for a surgical training program
  • Online test (Hurdle assessment) (early semester) (The aim of this online assessment is to provide students with an opportunity to undertake an online test and experience immediate computer generated feedback. The content of the test is assessment theory. This provides students with an opportunity to consider both content and one method of assessment.
  • Essay – 3000 words (mid semester) 50%. (This assessment requires students to develop an evaluation strategy for a surgical education program. Students are expected to draw on educational theory to support their choice of evaluation strategy.
  • Essay - 3000 words (end of semester) 50%. In this essay, students are expected to explore in detail a topic on assessment – e.g. workplace based assessment, examining feasibility, strengths and weaknesses.
Prescribed Texts:

Owen, J., Program Evaluation: Forms and Approaches. Third Edition ed. 2006, Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.

Reading Pack Materials will be provided

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Competently use evaluation methodologies to continuously improve curricula and teaching
  • Competently develop assessment strategies that accurately measure student learning and understanding
  • Study skills related to a range of educational methods
  • Presentation skills
  • Academic reading skills
  • Academic writing
  • Applying theory to practice
  • Reference manager skills
  • Learn independently
Links to further information:

IT requirements:

Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

  • MS Word
  • MS Powerpoint

All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
Master of Surgical Education

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