Assessment and Grading System

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In this section

Assessment System & Grading

Students are assessed in different ways throughout the program. It is important to understand both the purpose of each assessment and the expectations for competence on each occasion. If you have any questions about an assessment, please contact your course director or supervising teacher/tutor. Assessment requirements are published on Elentra under each course page.  

Transcripts and official course grades

All courses in all four years of the MD Program at the University of Toronto are transcripted as “Credit (CR)”, “No Credit (NC)”, “In Progress (IPR)”, or “Incomplete (INC)”. Course Grades are loaded onto the Repository of Student Information (ROSI), which is the official record and is used by the University to generate official transcripts.    

Additional information regarding the grading system and numerical results for individual assessments may be found at: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/student-assessment.

Standards for the grading and promotion of students & guidelines for the assessment of students in academic difficulty

Please refer to these standards and guidelines for details on assessment grading, promotion and supporting students in academic difficulty. They are available on the MD Program website (www.md.utoronto.ca/policies)   

Foundations

Standards for grading and promotion of MD students – Foundations (Years 1 and 2)

Academic Difficulty Procedural Guidelines Foundations (Years 1 and 2)

Clerkship

Standards for grading and promotion of MD students – Clerkship (Years 3 and 4)

Academic Difficulty Procedural Guidelines  Clerkship (Years 3 and 4)

Board of Examiners: All academic programs in the Faculty of Medicine have a Board of Examiners, a standing committee of Faculty Council. All final decisions related to a MD student’s standing and promotions are made by the Board of Examiners. To inform these decisions, the Board of Examiners receives recommendations from the Student Progress Committee for the Foundations Curriculum and from the Clerkship Director for Clerkship. The Board of Examiners consists of 13 members, including two students. The Board of Examiners is responsible for approving all course grades, and makes the ultimate decisions about student promotion, requirements to do remedial work, and dismissal from the program, e.g. for repeated failures of an entire year or egregious lapses in professionalism. Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the Board of Examiners.

 

Standards of achievement on each type of assessment

The methods of assessment used in the various courses are described below under Assessment Modalities. It is the responsibility of each Foundations course committee and Clerkship course committee, in consultation with component directors and/or theme leads as well as the Student Assessment and Standards Committee (SASC), to define satisfactory completion of each type of assessment required during each course.    

A number of assessments receive a numerical mark while others are simply denoted as “Credit (CR)” or “No Credit (NC)”. Students are directed to assessment requirements found on Elentra under each course page for details of the threshold required to satisfactorily complete each type of assessment required during the course.  

 

Assessment Modalities

Written Assessments

Weekly feedback quizzes (Foundations only)

Short take-home quizzes delivered through Examplify that students complete each week. While low stakes, these will help students examine how well they have learned the week’s material.

Mastery exercises

Mandatory invigilated written assessments delivered online, and cover the material learnt over 2-4 weeks (for Foundations) and the entire course (for Clerkship). Each question is linked to learning objectives and/or program competencies. Students receive a feedback report which outlines the learning objectives which they performed poorly on, which should be used to guide their further studying.

Progress tests

These are comprehensive knowledge-based tests that assesses student progress towards exit-level MD Program competencies – which are competencies you are expected to attain by completion of the MD Program.  You don’t need to study for Progress Tests. In fact, the comprehensive nature of Progress Tests is intended to discourage students from preparing specifically for a test.  The best preparation for the test is to engage in the curriculum and stay up to date throughout the program. Following each test, students receive a report which is designed to inform areas for improvement and to help prepare for the Medical Council licensing exam. 

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)/ Integrated Objective Structured Clinical Examination (iOSCE)

OSCEs are station based clinical skills examinations in which students rotate through a series of rooms. At each station, students are required to simulate a real clinical encounter with a Standardized Patient (an actor playing a patient) who is assigned a particular case, while being observed by a faculty examiner. Students are expected to complete specific tasks and, towards the end of each station, may be asked a small number of questions by the examiner. There are two OSCEs in Foundations and two iOSCEs in Clerkship. The final iOSCE includes integrated content from the disciplines across the entire Clerkship year.

Professionalism Assessment Forms

In each course, students are required to demonstrate satisfactory professionalism in order to receive credit. See the Student Professionalism section for more details. Teachers or tutors assess the student against six professional domains and have the opportunity to indicate both strengths and areas for improvement.

Assignments & Projects

Written assignments & projects range in scope and purpose across the program. While the specific objectives of these assignments & projects vary, they generally do involve an assessment of the student’s ability to communicate effectively in writing, including presenting their findings or argument in a logical, well organized manner. 

Oral Presentations

These are a key component of assessment and in particular, during small-group learning. Students make presentations individually or in groups within settings such as Portfolio sessions, Health Science Research sessions, Case-Based Learning tutorials and during Campus Weeks.

Thematic Reflections

These are written reflections that outline how students see themselves developing in their role as medical students. These reflections must all be submitted at various points throughout the year through the OASES system.

Portfolio

Assessment in the Portfolio course addresses competencies across all of the intrinsic CanMEDS roles during the 4 years of the MD program. Portfolio includes small group meetings and individual progress review meetings.  Assessment includes thematic reflections, oral presentations and progress review reports following meetings with Academy Scholars.   

Practical Laboratory Assessments (Foundations only)

These are assessments that occur in the form of bell ringers and take place in the laboratories where students go to multiple stations, view a specimen or image and identify structures or answer brief questions about function.

Clinical Performance Evaluations (Clerkship only)

This is an assessment of the students overall performance for the duration of the clinical courses.  The student is assessed against objectives which are linked to all of the intrinsic CanMEDS roles.  

Direct Observation Assessments

Several courses include additional assessments where the student is assessed following direct observation of specified activates. Examples include clinical performance assessment/ clinical encounter cards in Foundations, and clinical examination exercises, case based discussions and observed history and physical in Clerkship. 

 

Student Assessment Technologies

A number of systems are used to manage student assessment and are administered by the Office of Assessment and Evaluation. Please visit the Assessment – FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions.

All systems require a UTORID to access.

MedSIS (Medical Student Information System) is the online system that the MD Program uses to maintain student registration information, record and calculate student assessments by teachers, obtain student feedback on their teachers and courses, and perform course scheduling. Students can view their course schedules, review and complete evaluations and access grades.
medsis.utoronto.ca
Support: medsis@knowledge4you.com

OASES (Online Assignment Submission and Evaluation System) is an online tool for written assignments, allowing students to securely upload documents and evaluators to provide feedback. Students will use OASES to submit their portfolio reflections and other written assignments.
oases.med.utoronto.ca
Support: Contact course administrator

Examplify is the application the MD Program utilizes for written assessments (e.g. mastery exercises and progress tests). See MD Program assessment and evaluation technology page for more information.

The Learner Chart is a one-of-a-kind application that chronicles and guides students’ progress throughout the MD Program. The Learner Chart will be populated with assessment information from MedSIS, OASES and ExamSoft to provide a rich and holistic view of student progress. At the same time, it allows students to upload files – from documents to images – that tell their unique story of how they are demonstrating competency. Academy Scholars will have access to students’ Learner Charts to support students in reflecting on their assessment data and encourage focused dialogue on what learning strategies students may need to take to enhance their performance, with the ultimate goal of developing a personal learning plan for each student. learnerchart.med.utoronto.ca
Support: md.progress@utoronto.ca

CPLAN is a curriculum planning tool for the Foundations curriculum only. It houses the MD Program’s learning objectives and allows the Program leadership to create linkages between end of week objectives, end of subsection objectives and broader Program competencies. CPLAN is what allows the Learner Chart to architect the assessment data it receives by learning objective and CanMEDS roles. Students will not have direct access to CPLAN but will see it reflected in the Learner Chart.

 

Technology Requirements

All incoming MD Program students are required to have devices consistent with the specifications outlined on the ExamSoft website in order to use the written assessment delivery application (Examplify).  System requirements for Examplify are regularly updated and posted on the ExamSoft website.

Our curriculum relies on recently developed technology for the delivery of teaching, learning, and assessment activities. The technology is user-friendly and meant to enhance your learning. You will be oriented on how to engage with this technology when you join the program.

For those who may want to explore purchasing a new laptop or tablet at the University of Toronto Bookstore, please visit http://uoftbookstore.com/ for the latest offers.