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Formative Assessment and Development Portal

Perspectives on Formative Assessment and Development

Next Accreditation System

For Competency Based Education (CBE) to be truly effective and well received, learners and teachers must be partners. Faculty members’ formative assessments foster resident growth. Users should have just-in-time access to developmental parameters such as sub-competencies, milestones or Entrustable Professional Activity variables to orient and guide feedback. Formative feedback should be authentic, frequent, focused, from multiple sources, tracked, and searchable by defined variables. These variables should include milestones, EPAs, situational difficulty, location of service, preceptor, patient condition, and date ranges. Formative records should be accessible to all faculty to enable educational continuity from one observation and one faculty to one another. Residents should have immediate access to observational data and be able set goals for faculty to use in focusing teaching.

An essential ingredient of high quality Competency Based Assessment is faculty development. MedFAD helps faculty learn to integrate articulate feedback with milestones by requiring that their impressions are translated into words, not grades, checks or circles. In this sense it is a faculty development tool because the more faculty practice giving articulate feedback, the more reliable and skilled they become. All faculty comments are associated with a specific milestone or EPA level. Sub-competencies should be mapped to EPAs to help faculty assess specific abilities related to specific clinical tasks. As comments accumulate, so do milestone or EPA ratings, enabling the clinical competency committee to make efficient, reliable, reportable decisions.

MedFAD helps create a culture of competency assessment by enriching the relationship between teacher and learner. Formative assessment is organized within established domains (e.g., milestones, EPAs) but not constrained by quantitative methods that ignore context, development, nuance, while overburdening faculty with endless checklists. MedFAD is designed to make competency assessment efficient, effective, and rewarding for all involved.