Student Assessment

Assessment procedures are used to document each student's knowledge and skills in specific areas. While these assessments are not meant to be comprehensive summaries of each student's knowledge base, they are the major mechanism for determining a student's final grade in a subject and can be an effective educational tool.

 I. The Core Director is responsible for assessing all students in the Core.

 I. Each Core Director has the responsibility of providing for the students at the beginning of the Core a written description of the goals and requirements of the Core, as well as the evaluation procedures to be employed.

 III. Methods

A. Examinations test information for a specified period of time over material from one or more Cores.

1. Examinations will usually be given on a Saturday morning. The specific dates for these examinations will be given to the student at the beginning of each semester. Frequency of tests will range from every two to five weeks with no more than six examinations given per semester. The frequency of tests and dates will be determined by the Year Director after consultation with the Core Directors at least two months prior to the start of each semester. The final exam schedule will be discussed with the Associate Dean for Curriculum so that potential conflicts can be prevented.

2. The usual examination period will start at 8:00 a.m. and will be designed to be completed in 3 to 4 hours. The Year Director and ESO will be responsible for all logistical matters (e.g. scheduling rooms, seat assignments, etc).

3. Testing guidelines will be used.

  • All tests will be handed out at the beginning of the testing period and collected promptly at the end.
  • Proctors will be provided by each Core Director.
  • Seats will usually be assigned.
  • Students will not be permitted to have academic material near their seats including the following*:
    • mechanical or electronic devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), calculators, digital watches, watches with computer communication and/or memory capability, electronic paging devices,
    • recording or filming devices, radios, cellular telephones;
    • coats, jackets and headwear;
    • book bags, backpacks, briefcases;
    • books, notes, study materials, or scratch paper.

* Exceptions at the discretion of the core/clerkship director.

Inquiries about examination questions (other than those related to typographical errors) will not be permitted.
Temporary absences of students from the examination will be closely monitored.

4. The core examinations should constitute at least 75% of the objective portion of the student's grade. The 75% guideline excludes subjective evaluation of a student's performance (e.g. small group participation).

5. Each Core will be allowed approximately one hour of objective testing time per credit hour. The Core Directors will be responsible for determining the distribution of time devoted to examinations during comprehensive exams, laboratory exercises, essay examinations, etc. For example, a ten credit hour core would have ten hours of objective testing time and might divide the testing in the following manner - 2 1/2 hour examinations during three different comprehensive exams, a 1 1/2 hour essay, and a one hour laboratory examination.

6. Question Guidelines - Monitored by Core Directors

  • Appropriate types of questions include multiple choice, true/false, essay, short fill-in-the-blank, and matching.
  • Allow approximately 3/4 to 1 minute per multiple choice examination question.
  • Two to three questions per lecture hour (or its equivalent) represent an appropriate assessment of a student's knowledge and are suitable for determining a grade. Only under unusual circumstances may the number of questions deviate from this target.

7. Questions will not necessarily be identifiable based on subject material or instructor.

8. All test questions are to be maintained as "secure"; therefore, test questions will not be returned to the students. Any evidence that the security of the examination has been broken may result in loss of class privileges for test review.

B. Testing outside the core examination system.

1. As noted above, at least 75% of the objective grade for students will be determined by tests given during comprehensive exams. Examinations that require special time/logistics may be scheduled for the day before or immediately after the regularly scheduled core examination (e.g. laboratory practical) and would be considered part of the core examination system.

2. Other objective tests that constitute no more than 25% of the objective grade for the student may be scheduled at other times using the following guidelines.

  • All tests must be scheduled with the Year Director a minimum of two months before the beginning of each semester.
  • Each Core should not give more than one extra examination every two weeks (outside of comprehensive exams).
  • These special examinations should be no longer than one hour in duration and should be given in regularly scheduled class time.

3. Subjective evaluations - Because of the special nature of subjective examinations, Core Directors will have a large degree of latitude in how these are developed and utilized. However, each Core Director should discuss the mechanisms for subjective evaluation with the Year Director so that potential conflicts with other cores can be avoided.

IV. Student Responsibilities

A. It is the responsibility of all students to master the assigned material, which may be presented in lectures, laboratories, small group discussions, etc.

B. It is the responsibility of all students to comply with the guidelines and procedures set forth by the Year Director and the core directors.

C. It is the responsibility of all students to conduct themselves honestly during examinations. Instances of suspected cheating will be handled according to the University of Nebraska Medical Center Procedural Rules Relating to Student Discipline located in the UNMC Student Handbook. (Core directors will discuss instances of suspected cheating with the Year Director who will refer to the Office of Academic & Student Affairs for appropriate action).

D. It is the responsibility of all students in academic difficulty to seek assistance from their instructors and advisors at the time they become aware of their difficulty.

E. It is the responsibility of all students seeking to be excused from a scheduled examination for any reason (other then acute illness or funeral) to obtain the proper form from the Educational Support Office prior to the start of the applicable core. Make-up examinations will be on the afternoon prior to the exam in the M1 year and on the first weekday following the examination for the M2 year. Students delaying the examination for more than three days for illness must discuss the situation with a representative of the Educational Support Office. Make up OSCEs cannot be guaranteed. For more detail see the absence policy.

V. Test grading - Machine Scored Questions 
A. Questions that are deemed inappropriate will either be re-keyed (no more than two acceptable answers) or deleted (if more than two answers are acceptable or poor question). The test will be re-scored with those changes. Credit will not be given for questions that have been deleted.

B. A student who fails to correctly fill in the required information (e.g. name, student ID number, and answers to all questions) on the computer sheets, lab practical sheets, essay exam sheets, etc., will have points deducted from his or her examination score (first event - no penalty, second event 1% deduction, third event 5% deduction, fourth 10% deduction, etc.).

C. No credit will be given for answers not recorded properly on the answer sheet.