Considering "Nonlinearity" Across the Continuum in Medical Education Assessment: Supporting Theory, Practice, and Future Research Directions

Steven J. Durning*, Stuart Lubarsky, Dario Torre, Valérie Dory, Eric Holmboe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to propose new approaches to assessment that are grounded in educational theory and the concept of "nonlinearity." The new approaches take into account related phenomena such as "uncertainty," "ambiguity," and "chaos." To illustrate these approaches, we will use the example of assessment of clinical reasoning, although the principles we outline may apply equally well to assessment of other constructs in medical education. Theoretical perspectives include a discussion of script theory, assimilation theory, self-regulated learning theory, and situated cognition. Assessment examples to include script concordance testing, concept maps, self-regulated learning microanalytic technique, and work-based assessment, which parallel the above-stated theories, respectively, are also highlighted. We conclude with some practical suggestions for approaching nonlinearity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Evaluation-educational intervention

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