Introducing Oral Summative Assessment in the Medical Radiation Physics Program at Stockholm University - Concepts, Challenges and Concerns

2019-10-22T15:27:33Z (GMT) by Niels Bassler

This report summarizes a proposed pedagogy project which investigates the use of oral examination for summative assessment at the Department of Physics at Stockholm University (SU). Advantages and disadvantages are discussed, brought in context to existing literature, and an implementation plan is proposed.

The proposed project is based on the two courses FK5031 “Radiation Dosimetry” (7.5 ECTS) and FK8030 “Radiation Protection and Environmental Radiology” (7.5 ECTS) which are provided within the Medical Physics teaching programme at SU. The courses are currently offered in a traditional format consisting of lectures, tutorials and laboratory exercises. Currently, summative assessment is done at the end of the course, in the form of a 5-hour closed-book exam.

The exams typically yield poor outcome, where not seldom half of the students fail. Consequently, a course transformation is indicated. Course transformation encompasses multiple aspects of the course design, however, the main focus of this report is on summative assessment. Alternative assessment formats are briefly discussed as well and related to literature findings. The hypothesis is raised that oral examinations may spur students to deeper understanding, and that it may reduce the workload for the teacher.

It is concluded that the oral examination format is a promising option for summative assessment and should be tested in practice.