Programmatic Assessment in Health Professions Education

Iris Lindemann, Julie Ash, Janice Orrell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter recounts the learning gained by a group of assessment developers in one Australian medical education program as they implemented a comprehensive approach to curriculum development supporting greater emphasis on assessment as, and for, learning. This was a major work that challenged the dominant culture of a psychometric approach to assessment of learning. This chapter describes programmatic assessment for learning (PAL) (not to be confused with peer-assisted learning) which is a curriculum approach that uses a diverse range of assessment tasks that, over time, generates comprehensive information to inform students and educators of students’ progress towards achieving whole-of-program learning outcomes. This information assists students in developing and prioritizing their learning plans. The PAL curriculum approach constitutes a significant cultural shift and requires a significant change in understanding the educational role of assessment for curriculum designers, academic teachers, university policy makers, and students alike. This chapter will describe the persuasive benefits for adopting a PAL curriculum and recount the challenges and barriers that were experienced by those involved in the process of implementation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationClinical Education for the Health Professions
    Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
    EditorsDebra Nestel, Gabriel Reedy, Lisa McKenna, Suzanne Gough
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811361067
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Programmatic assessment
    • Programmatic assessment for learning
    • Assessment
    • Feedback
    • Learning coach


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