EBMA Assessment in Medical Education Conference

laura-woodhouseIn October I attended the first annual conference that the European Board of Medical Assessors (EBMA) has opened up to the wider academic community. The conference was hosted by the University of Exeter and was very well attended by delegates from Europe and beyond, who have expertise in assessment in medical education.
I have a particular interest in standard setting of examinations and was pleased to present a poster titled “Comparison of Cohen and Angoff methods of standard setting: is Angoff worth it?”. I presented my research comparing pass marks set using Angoff and Cohen methods when applied to historical MBBS examinations data. The conclusion that Angoff and Cohen methods produce comparable pass marks generated interesting discussions with delegates from other Universities in the UK who are also interested in an alternative to the Angoff method. This experience has been invaluable and has opened up the possibility of collaborations to examine standard setting methods on large combined data sets.

In addition, Newcastle University was well represented at the conference. Professor Brian Lunn also presented data on standard setting (“Predictive abilities of standard setters using the Angoff method”) as well as student feedback (“Candidate use of a feedback site and how that relates to examination performance”). Dr David Kennedy presented data on professionalism monitoring (“Lessons from assessing Professionalism through monitoring Professional attitudes and behaviours”) which generated a lot of interest from other institutions looking to incorporate assessment of professionalism into their programmes.

The conference spanned 2 days and included an excellent range of keynote speakers, workshops and oral and poster presentation sessions. With lots of sessions and some running in parallel, the conference was hugely diverse and covered all aspects of assessment in medical education. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone with a particular interest in assessment and standard setting. I would be happy to discuss further details of the conference with colleagues and the full programme can also be found at: http://medicine.exeter.ac.uk/assessmentmeded/

Dr Laura Woodhouse, School of Medical Education

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