Faculty News

Early and Often - A Taste of Programmatic Assessment at UCSF

Cees van der Vleuten, PhD

Cees van der Vleuten, PhD

Incorporating programmatic assessment into the learning environment at UCSF will involve developing a feedback culture that maintains dialogue between learner and faculty and among faculty as peers. UCSF Presidential Chair in Education, Cees Van der Vleuten, PhD, stressed the value of providing ongoing assessment and feedback to learners early and often. Feedback is not about commenting on an observation, but rather allowing the person receiving feedback to: tell their narrative, discover for themselves the areas in which they need support, and articulate where their challenges and success stories are.

Programmatic assessment requires a culture change. Van der Vleuten described how his center provides formal and informal peer groups for faculty coaches and that faculty buy-in is vital to the success of students. Dr. van der Vleuten maintains it is key to make sure organizations know what they want and are willing to invest in programmatic assessment over a potentially long period. He stressed that summative culture is still entrenched in medical education in the United States and other countries as well. On the other hand, other countries like, Mexico, Kenya, and Vietnam, have new programmatic assessment initiatives and the Netherlands has growing programmatic assessment efforts in graduate programs.

Van der Vleuten commended UCSF’s rich, supportive faculty development culture, our coaching program in the Bridges Curriculum, and the SOM’s new policy on grading in the clerkship program. To van der Vleuten, as more faculty are involved with programmatic assessment early in their medical education journeys, medical education and patient care will improve. For example, when asked if his school leadership was supportive, he said, “the Dean was one of my students!” As assessment is key for our long term development at UCSF, it will be interesting to interact with Dr. van der Vleuten over the next year.

Looking to improve your feedback skills? CFE continues its commitment to creating a culture of peer feedback and offers feedback training throughout the year for faculty and staff.

Learn more about feedback and programmatic assessment: