Ottawa Symposium 1 : Grading and Ranking in Assessment: Help or Hindrance in education of healthcare professionals

08:30 – 10:00 , 12th MARCH 2018
Dujeepa Samarasekera, Choon Eng Matthew Gwee (National University of Singapore, Singapore), John Norcini (Foundation for advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, United States) , Elizabeth Farmer (University of Adelaide, Australia)
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi


Today the team-care of patients is considered to enhance patient well-being including patient safety. Thus, the need for collaborative learning is now strongly emphasised in health professional education. Moreover, inter-professional education is also strongly advocated to optimise collaborative learning across professional disciplines and courses in preparation for future team-care of patients. However, grading and ranking are currently an important and a common practice in the

assessment of student acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes in health professional education. Grading and ranking in assessment tend to identify ‘star’ performers in a cohort of

students. Such ‘stars’ are likely to display individualistic and competitive behaviour, whereas the team-care of patients will require practitioners from different healthcare professions to display significant collaborative behaviour when taking care of patients collectively as a team. In recognition of the need for future healthcare practitioners to be equipped with such collaborative skills, health professional schools now try to nurture collaborative learning in several parts of their educational programmes, including inter-professional education. Much time and energy of academic faculty are invested in such programmes.

The question then is, will grading and ranking in assessment hinder efforts at promoting collaborative learning of students who are likely to become the next generation of leaders in the professions?

This Symposium will discuss the issues raised and share experiences from a global perspective.