Let us Think outside the Miller’s Pyramid for student’s assessment-Dr. Mohammad Al Eraky


ICME 2019 by Riphah Int. University-III
Let us Think outside the Miller’s Pyramid for
student’s assessment-Dr. Mohammad Al Eraky
Changes are being resisted and legally 
challenged - Prof. Junaid Sarfraz

ISLAMABAD: Lt. Gen. Azar Rashid chaired the symposium on Students Assessment during the ICME 2019 Conference organized by Riphah International University here from 19-22 October 2019. Dr. Mohammad Al Eraky from Saudi Arabia was the first speaker who talked about a Fresh Look at Miller’s Pyramid Assessment. He pointed out that we need more ways for assessment. A competent physician, he opined, may create an incompetent team. He was of the view that we need to think of a new model hence why we don’t think outside this pyramid. Discussing the assessment orbit, he pointed out towards Is, Know, Shows and Does and the related assessment at each level. He suggested that let us do it together.

Dr. Mohammad Al Eraky

Prof. Junaid Sarfraz from CMH Medical College Lahore was the next speaker whose presentation was on Current assessment systems in Pakistan and their challenges. He suggested starting internship in the department of Medical Education which will have a far reaching effect to promote the quality of medical education. He was of the view that it was difficult to bring about any change at governing structure without using technology. There is a resistance and the changes being introduced are being legally challenged.

Prof. Mohammad Tariq from Aga Khan University Karachi in his presentation compared the Pakistani assessment systems with the international standards i.e. of WFME and GMC. He stated that assessment and curriculum go hand in hand. We need to respond to learning needs, promote learning and assess the competency. He also talked about goals of assessment and public protest against incompetent physicians, application of new teaching techniques. Assessment, he opined, makes an overall judgment. All assessment methods have weaknesses. Reliability of assessment and reproducibility as well as its validity is important. He also advocated that let us combine all the assessment methods together. We must try to find out how someone is progressing. He laid emphasis on in training assessment which was at present was lacking at many institutions. At AKU it is used for feedback purpose.

A view of the poster evaluation (Left) and workshop in progress during ICME 2019
organized by Riphah International University at Islamabad recently.

He then referred to the qualities of Tomorrow’s Doctor as highlighted by GMC in its report, World Federation of Medical Education has come up with its own assessment standards but training was extremely important. In Pakistan PM&DC Assessment standards were developed by a Committee. Our objective is to make a correct assessment, good assessment drives from good learning for which clear vision is needed by institutions. Assessment done without pressures will be authentic. Good faculty will help you improve performance. Leadership in specialty assessment will be rocky. We want authentic assessment for which faculty development and retention was important. He also talked about investment in faculty and providing them safe working environment. He then spoke about faculty progression and faculty development. Full time qualified faculty, proper equipment, sense of direction and a clear policy for assessment is needed. We must also keep in mind the proper utilization of available resources and the limitations. We need to generate finances, have a Vision and plan for infrastructure and faculty. It is also important that the faculty is working together as a team.

Speaking about the feedback and evaluation, Prof.Tariq said that it was essential and it should be practiced everywhere. He also referred to the politics of examination, who decides the contents experts, assessors and their competency. There should be a clearly laid down process in which contents experts should work together. We need to establish a proper system of assessment, he concluded.

During the discussion, the importance of psychological assessment was also highlighted. It was also pointed out that though the intentions of the government are good but there are lot of technical issues which needs to be sorted out. Significant logistics are involved. We also need to look into do we need MCQs or skilled based examination. We can also put sensors in universities where students are followed. Anything which is taught must be assessed otherwise students will not take it seriously. The issues of licensing and revalidation also came under discussion.

Dr. Azar Rashid in his concluding remarks said that it was an era of change and resistance to change is natural. We must learn and convince people about the usefulness of the changes being introduced. For any change to be successful, right planning is important. We also need to look into how to make leaders and mentors.