Office of Assessment & Evaluation
263 Farmington Avenue, AM044
Farmington, CT 06030
Christine Thatcher, Ed.D.
Associate Dean for Medical Education and Assessment
Suzanne Tate, M.S.Ed.
Academic Curriculum Coordinator
Administrative Program Coordinator
Administrative Program Assistant
The purpose of the Office of Assessment & Evaluation (OAE) is to coordinate, organize, track, and report on the evaluative functions of the School of Medicine. It exists to ensure the appropriate assessments of medical students, residents, programs, and faculty throughout all 4 years of the medical curriculum.
Services and Programs
Course, Faculty, and Resident Evaluations
Medical students regularly evaluate courses, facilitators, physicians, residents, and peers as a required part of the curriculum. Insight gained from evaluations is disseminated to School of Medicine faculty and administration to improve the quality and outcomes of the curriculum, and to review and support residents and faculty involved in teaching.
Student Performance Evaluations
Medical students routinely receive structured, objective feedback throughout their medical education. The Office of Assessment & Evaluation assist faculty in creating and deploying assessments, and in tracking student progress throughout the curriculum.
Groups of medical and dental students in all 4 years of the curriculum are regularly selected at random to participate in focus groups moderated by the Office of Assessment & Evaluation to gather additional qualitative information for continuous quality improvement efforts.
Christine Thatcher, Associate Dean for Medical Education and Assessment
The Office of Assessment & Evaluation works with course and clerkship coordinators to administer standardized exams from the National Board of Medical Examiners to measure student performance.
High Stakes Exams
At the end of each course in Stage 1 of the curriculum, students take an integrated, holistic exam to assess their learning. OAE also support clerkships in years 3 and 4 of the curriculum in administering internally developed exams and quizzes.
LEAP Periods and ILOs
Each 10-week curricular block is followed by a 2-week intersession called Learning Enhancement and Assessment Periods, also known as LEAP. Students are assessed holistically across their coursework at the beginning of each LEAP. LEAP is also a time for wellness, scholarship, academic coaching, career planning and five days of an individualized learning experience. Students engage in reinforcement material to support content gaps identified through the major assessment and/or participate in an Independent Learning Opportunity (ILO). This LEAP five-day period allows total immersion in specialized topics designed by faculty to promote a deeper learning in a curricular area, support skill building, and/or career exploration. The Office of Assessment & Evaluation coordinates all aspects of LEAP, including assessments, coaching meetings, ILO administration, and content enhancement.
The OAE is responsible for oversight and coordination of the coaching program, which launched in conjunction with the M Delta curriculum. Coaches are faculty assigned to students at the beginning of their first year, who engage with students similar to an athletic coach in mentoring the student towards performance improvement and goal attainment. The academic coach guide the development of a student toward their potential by meeting regularly to review goals and strategies to help overcome challenges, improve academic performance, and guide the student toward professional identity. Coaches participate and provide support to the career advising program, which begins during the first LEAP period. The coaches are advocates for students, but also serve to help students toward self-reflection, understanding the use of feedback and how to provide effective feedback, and serve as a resource to students who are very much expected to be self-reliant. The coaching program is designed to support student success by helping students reach their full potential. Students are assigned to two coaches who work with them throughout Stage 1 of the curriculum. Students will also be a part of a coaching group, which includes 9 other students, the two faculty coaches (one M.D. and one researcher), and a resident coach.
The OAE supports the Curriculum Evaluation Committee (CEC - formerly CCESC), which is responsible for reviewing the curriculum in its entirety on a three-year cycle. The CEC includes five clinical faculty members, five basic science faculty members and 8 medical students (two from each year in the program), and includes one chair and two co-chairs. The committee meets monthly and strategically plans course and clerkship reviews in advance. The group also prepares annual reports, which include feedback from the respective courses after the review to help monitor recommendations made by the committee. The charge of the CEC is:
- To review annual course evaluations and related course director annual reports
- To make recommendations on ways in which each course can be improved
- To review all stages of the curriculum and the curriculum as a whole on a 3-year cycle, including the benchmarking of student performance against institutional goals, objectives, and national data.
- Continuously monitor institutional compliance with all LCME standards.