Student Assessment

Students writing in a lecture hall

Programmatic assessment

Programmatic assessment has been introduced across the Foundations Curriculum and is starting to be introduced within certain aspects of the Clerkship Curriculum. The model for assessment shifts the emphasis from assessment of learning to assessment for learning. It takes a holistic approach to assessment that focuses on identifying each student’s proficiency across diverse professional competencies and the identified learning outcomes. This new evidence-informed assessment framework provides us with a complete picture of a students performance over time – not just a snap shot in time. It involves more frequent lower-stakes assessments, to ensure we are providing students with quality feedback to promote individualized student learning and to better identify and support students in difficulty.

Further details on the types of assessments which students undertake can be found within the Academic Calendar for Foundations and Clerkship.

The technology we use as part of programmatic assessment can be found on the MD Program assessment and evaluation technology page.

Frequently asked questions surrounding assessment can be found on the Assessment FAQ page.

Evolution of our grading system

All courses in all four years of the MD Program at the University of Toronto are transcripted Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), which is commonly referred to as Pass/Fail at other institutions.

Our shift from an Honours/Pass/Fail system to Credit/No Credit came about thanks in large part to a concerted student effort facilitated by the Faculty. In response to feedback about the H/P/F system, the MD Program leadership invited the student body to conduct a formal dialogue on grading policy. Following a public debate, student town hall meetings, position papers, podcasts, and other strategies, students voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in 2008 to replace H/P/F with CR/NC. The Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Committee (UMECC) unanimously agreed to support the students’ stance, and after review and acceptance by the Faculty’s Education Committee, the policy change was granted final approval by Faculty Council in March 2009.

Numerical results

Individual assessment components may be given a numerical mark, which may or may not be shared with the student depending on the practices of the course in question. As component marks, these results will never appear on transcripts or other documentation provided by the MD Program to external individuals or organizations.