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Chair, Student Assessment

Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program Leadership Position 

Posted February 9, 2020


For a PDF copy of the position description and responsibilities please click here.

The UGME Student Assessment Chair is a faculty member responsible for the oversight of the development, implementation, and quality improvement of student assessment in the MD Program. The Student Assessment Chair will demonstrate a commitment to advance the priorities and principles of the MD Program, including advancing assessment methods that are consistent with the use of student-engaged learning methods, evidence-informed curriculum practices, and an orientation towards quality improvement.

The ideal candidate will have a strong interest and experience in medical education, and more specifically, in the development, implementation, and improvement of student assessment methods. This includes a strong understanding of issues related to student assessment in medical education, as well as the ability to critically evaluate current and new assessment practices.

The MD Program of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is a fully distributed medical education program that uses problem-based and self-directed learning approaches. Familiarity with these pedagogical approaches is also an asset.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Establish and maintain the philosophical underpinnings of the principles of student assessment in McMaster’s MD Program in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.
  2. Ensure that student assessment aligns with and advances the missions of McMaster University, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the MD Program.
  3. Advance the core principles of the UGME Program: Distributed medical education (DME); problem-based, small group, and other student engaged learning methods; self-directed learning, including self- and peer-evaluation; lifelong learning, including use of evidence-informed practice; and a commitment to innovation.
  4. Oversee the development of policies and practices with respect to student assessment in the MD Program. Implement and/or enforce the policies and practices of McMaster University, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the UGME Program.
  5. Develop, implement, and improve systems and tools to assess student performance within the MD program:
    • Reflecting the learning objectives and graduating competencies established by the MD Program;
    • Consistent with the principles of learning and assessment of the MD Program;
    • Reflecting best practices, evidence-informed innovations, and current trends in medical and health professions student assessment;
    • Reflecting nationally established and assessed learning competencies and performance requirements; and,
    • Integrating a system of assessment that optimally assesses the range of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours that demonstrate achievement of the learning objectives and performance requirements indicated in (a.) above.
  6. Support the UGME Chair, Student Affairs and UGME Learning Directors to develop and implement the Program for Guided Reflection and Early Student Support (PROGRESS) to facilitate the: (a) identification and support of students at risk of not meeting the achievement criteria of the MD Program; and (b) remediation of medical students who have not met the achievement criteria.
  7. Liaise with MD Program leaders as necessary to enhance student assessment throughout the Program. This will include gathering input from and training leaders on the development and implementation of policies, systems, tools, and practices of student assessment in the MD Program. The Student Assessment Chair will also support faculty leaders, faculty, and other teachers in their understanding of the principles of student assessment as relevant to their roles in the Program.
  8. Oversee the work of the Directors of Written Assessment and Clinical Assessment and any other faculty working within the Student Assessment portfolio. The directors are appointed by and report directly to the Chair of Student Assessment.
  9. Working with the Program for Faculty Development and the FacultyDevelopment Coordinators in the Regional Campuses, implement faculty development that optimally prepares faculty and other teachers for their roles in the assessment of students. Ensure that student assessors use appropriate standards of assessment and that assessors understand the policies related to the assessments they are making.
  10. Educate and advise relevant stakeholders regarding student assessment policies, systems, tools, and practices in the MD Program. Support stakeholders in interpreting and implementing policies as required.
  11. On the direction of the Chair of the Student Progress Committee, the Chair of Student Assessment will make referrals of medical students for independent medical evaluations (IME’s); will receive and redact IME reports; and provide redacted reports to the Chair of the Student Progress Committee.
  12. Co-Chair the Program Evaluation and Student Assessment (PESA) Committee. Member of the following committees: UGME Program Executive Committee, Curriculum Committee, Pre-Clerkship Committee, OSCE Committee, Clinical Skills Committee and others as necessary. Non-voting member of Student Progress Committee in policy/process advisory capacity.
  13. Ensure that MD Program student assessment tools, practices, and policies meet the accreditation standards of the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). Participate in accreditation-related activities as required.
  14. Participate in quality improvement activities within the UGME Program, including collaborating with individuals at other medical schools in Canada in analogous portfolios and working with McMaster’s UGME Program Quality Chair to optimize the effectiveness of our student assessment policies, system, and tools.
  15. Support scholarly activity by adopting evidence-informed, best practices and supporting research activities within student assessment.

Appointment: The Chair, UGME Program Student Assessment is appointed by the Associate Dean, UGME on the authority of the UGME Program Executive Committee. The UGME Program Student Assessment Chair reports to the Associate Dean, UGME and the UGME Program Executive Committee.

Eligibility: The UGME Program Student Assessment Chair must have a current faculty appointment with McMaster University; or must be in the process of securing a faculty appointment; or must be assured a faculty appointment before beginning her/his first term. The applicant must be in good standing with her/his academic and/or clinical associations (e.g. universities; hospitals or other clinical settings; and health regulators), both past and present.

Time Commitment & Stipend: The expected time commitment for this role is approximately 1 day per week throughout the year. The associated stipend is $40,000 per year, consistent with UGME Program stipending practices. The Chair, Student Assessment is credited with 400 indirect academic contribution hours per year. The Chair, Student Assessment is supported by a full-time administrator in the MD Program.

Term: The appointment is for a three-year term and is renewable once following review by the Associate Dean, UGME on the authority of the UGME Program Executive Committee.

Interested applicants for this position should submit a cover letter and CV addressed to Dr. Karen McAssey, Pre-Clerkship Chair, UGME. This should be submitted to Ms. Jan Paci (pacij@mcmaster.ca) prior to Monday, March 1, 2021. The cover letter should include a brief overview of your qualifications and anticipated priorities for the position. Please feel free to contact us at the email above for further clarification or information.

Interviews will be conducted in March with an anticipated start date of April 2021.

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement.

In keeping with McMaster’s Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, the Undergraduate Medical Education Program strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. While all qualified candidates are invited to apply, we particularly welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons.

Applicants requiring any form of accommodation throughout the selection process are asked to contact the UGME program office, c/o Jan Paci pacij@mcmaster.ca

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