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Original Article

J. Islam. Int. Med. Coll.. 2016; 11(2): 85-88

Assessing Competency in Distant Learning Master Programs in Medical Education: A Qualitative Analysis

Rehan Ahmed Khan, Omer Awwab Khan,, Madiha Sajjad Minhas.

! To investigate the assessment tools and processes used to assess students of MHPE
programs in Pakistan for achieving the learning outcomes of the program.
! To Compare this process in developed (United Kingdom) and developing country (Pakistan).
Study Design: It is a qualitative archival study designed to provide an insight into the type and level of
assessment tools used in MHPE programs.
st th Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in IIMC from 1 October 2013 to 30 July 2014.
Materials and Methods: The study method chosen was archival research. The data was collected from the
official websites of the program. Purposive and convenient sampling method was used to select 08 programs,
04 each from United Kingdom and Pakistan. As programs in Pakistan offer only blended programs, hence only
blended programs were included in the study. Manifest conventional content analysis of the data was done
using NVIVO 10.
Results: Common assessment tools used to assess competence were assignments and dissertation submission
in all the programs. Programs in UK also used portfolios whereas in comparison only summative examination
using MCQ, SEQ's and OSTE was employed in Pakistan. All programs in the study assessed student at 'shows
how' level except 02 programs in UK, which assessed Meta competency (Does level).
Conclusion: Distant learning blended programs in HPE assess competency at different levels of competence.
This results in variability of level of assessment and hence affects the eventual outcome. A uniform method of
assessment should exist for master programs in health professions education to ensure uniform learning and

Key words: Assessment Tools, Distant Learning Programs, Health Professions Education, level of Assessment.

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