BackgroundStructured clinical assessments capture key information about performance that is rarely shared with the student as feedback. The purpose of this review is to describe a general framework for applying diagnostic score reporting within the context of a structured clinical assessment and to demonstrate that framework within dental hygiene.
MethodsThe framework was developed using current research in the areas of structured clinical assessments, test development, feedback in higher education, and diagnostic score reporting. An assessment blueprint establishes valid diagnostic domains by linking clinical competencies and test items to the domains (e.g., knowledge or skills) the assessment intends to measure. Domain scores can be given to students as reports that identify strengths and weaknesses and provide information on how to improve.
ResultsThe framework for diagnostic score reporting was applied to a dental hygiene structured clinical assessment at the University of Alberta in 2016. Canadian dental hygiene entry-to-practice competencies guided the assessment blueprinting process, and a modified Delphi technique was used to validate the blueprint. The final report identified 4 competency-based skills relevant to the examination: effective communication, client-centred care, eliciting essential information, and interpreting findings. Students received reports on their performance within each domain.
DiscussionDiagnostic score reporting has the potential to solve many of the issues faced by administrators, such as item confidentiality and the time-consuming nature of providing individual feedback.
ConclusionDiagnostic score reporting offers a promising framework for providing valid and timely feedback to all students following a structured clinical assessment.
SUBMITTER: Clarke A