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Key design features for mobile apps to capture, aggregate and report EPA-based assessments

Date: Friday 27 August 
Time:  0930-1230


  • Adrian Marty
  • Jan Breckwoldt
  • Machelle Linsenmeyer
  • Brian George
  • John Q Young
  • Olle ten Cate

Summary of the theme and Why it is important: For competency-based medical education to be implemented, a robust system of assessment that simultaneously supports low-stakes and high-stakes assessments is needed. Programmatic assessment has emerged as a systems approach to this. (Schuwirth 2011 & van der Vleuten 2012) Capturing and aggregating data from workplace-based assessments (WBAs) is a key feature of programmatic assessment. A number of barriers exist: additional logistical burden, lack of evidence-supported practices, finding observation opportunities and the time it requires. (St. Onge 2020)

The use of mobile technology to facilitate the documentation of WBAs is gaining traction (George 2017) especially in the context of Entrustable Professional Activities (ten Cate 2015, Young 2020, Stahl 2020) to guide decisions about an appropriate level of supervision for a learner. Several applications are currently being developed using different approaches. Their feasibility seems apparent. The time has come to focus on what works best, when and how.

In this workshop, we will analyze mobile applications for WBAs in four distinct dimensions:

Educational: How can mobile apps facilitate learning in assessment situations? Theoretical: Which theories support the design features of mobile applications?
Technical: How technical features and design processes are critical to support engagement?
Implementational: How can we meaningfully involve all stakeholders?

Elements of “Liberating structures” and “Stanford Design Thinking Method” will be used to engage participants.

What participants will gain: After this workshop, the participants will be able to:

1. Identify the challenges with WBAs in their own institution (the why)
2. Understand key features of different mobile apps to capture WBAs (the what)
3. Choose the appropriate features for implementation of mobile assessment strategies in their own setting (the how)

Participants will be exposed to mobile apps already in use or development for critique and comparison. Participants will leave with a list of key features for mobile apps to capture EPA-based WBAs

Who should participate? Appropriate for a broad range of attendees involved in workplace-based assessment (with or without EPAs): trainees, supervisors, progress committee members, program directors, medical educationalists, assessment experts, mobile app and e-portfolio designers.

Level of workshop:  All

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