The Progress Suite

Advancement through the curriculum is assessed twice a semester through progress suite exams, in which students across the curriculum take exams on graduation level performance. Rather than aiming for mastery of a small bit of knowledge on an exam, the goal is incremental improvement over time of all disciplines. 

By using this approach to learner assessment, binge learning (and forgetting) is discouraged. Competency-based assessments include multiple choice tests as well as standardized patient encounters, feedback from peers and members of the educational and health care team, and student personal learning plans and portfolios.

Progress Testing

Progress testing is a longitudinal competency assessment that facilitates adult learning. In essence, the College of Human Medicine Progress Suite of Assessments is the graduation test for the MD degree, measuring the entire body of knowledge that a student should master by the end of medical school. Rather than aiming for mastery of a small amount of knowledge, progress testing assesses incremental improvement in student performance over an extended period of time.


Formative Feedback

Interspersed between progress suite exams are opportunities for extensive formative feedback. Formative quizzes, simulations, and portfolio reviews occur frequently and serve as a basis for practice and mastery of material. Multisource feedback encompasses assessments from preceptors (clinical and non-clinical settings), peers (clinical and non-clinical settings), nurses, other health care team members, and patients. Through the use and development of individual learning plans, students and faculty work together in setting one’s goals and tracking progress to graduation and residency.

Course Integration and Grading

While all the traditional medical school basic sciences are included, the curriculum is fully integrated up and through the MCE. Throughout this part of the curriculum, each semester is one competency-based course graded on a pass/conditional pass/fail system. Curriculum is integrated and delivered across all experiences and disciplines. Performance on the progress suite exams determines progress through the curriculum during the ECE, MCE, and Intersessions.

During the LCE, students also take departmental clerkships. These courses have Honors/pass/conditional pass/fail grading system. Those grades become part of the student’s portfolio and contribute to the portfolio review and individual learning process. Progress suite exams continue and contribute to the grade students receive in the Advanced Medical Knowledge and Skills course that takes place concurrently with the clerkships and electives.

Individual Learning Plans (ILP)

Students reflect upon formative and summative assessments on an on-going basis to create and maintain Individual Learning Plans that address areas of strength, areas for improvement, goals, and resources to help attain the goals.  These are real-time, formative documents.  Students review their ILPs with their assigned Learning Society Fellows on a regular basis.  This includes mid-course feedback for students.  The Fellows provide formative feedback to the student and an assessment of students’ engagement in the ILP process with the Student Competence Committee.  (The ILP itself is not part of the academic record and is not reviewed by the Student Competence Committee.)