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Performance features in clinical skills assessment: Linguistic and cultural factors in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners examination

Roberts, Celia; Atkins, Sarah; Hawthorne, Kamila

Authors

Celia Roberts

Sarah Atkins sarah.atkins@nottingham.ac.uk

Kamila Hawthorne



Abstract

This book is based on research looking at performance in clinical skills assessment
from a linguistic and cultural perspective, with a view to understanding why there are
such differential pass rates and giving suggestions on how this issue can be tackled.
It is both a research report and a guide to the sociolinguistic methodology used.
While the findings are based on a research project in partnership with the Royal
College of General Practitioners, they are applicable to many other medical settings
where standardised examinations of simulated consultations are used. More widely,
this research addresses a central paradox in institutional life – how to balance validity
in assessments and be fair to a diverse group of candidates in an increasingly diverse
society, while maintaining reliability with standardised and universal marking criteria.

It has been widely acknowledged that candidates from overseas fair less well in such
examinations. A close look at the interactions which make up these simulated
consultations shows that there are complex and subtle differences between passing
and failing candidates which cannot be explained simply as ‘language’ and ‘cultural’
differences and put in a box separate from issues of fairness. These structured
examinations, unintentionally, contribute to the weight of the assessment on overseas
candidates, particularly in how interpersonal effectiveness is judged both explicitly
and implicitly.

The research has identified a range of successful candidate strategies which form
the basis of a set of e–learning materials to be published by the RCGP. It also
suggests that aspects of the exam, notably the more subjective features of
interpersonal skills, are not best assessed in highly structured exams. This area needs
to be better defined, using a new analytic language, to debate how and where it could
be most effectively and fairly assessed.

Book Type Authored Book
Publication Date Nov 18, 2014
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
ISBN 9780956930514
APA6 Citation Roberts, C., Atkins, S., & Hawthorne, K. (2014). Performance features in clinical skills assessment: Linguistic and cultural factors in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners examination. King's College London with The University of Nottingham
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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