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About Otago MB ChB assessment

OMS understands medical students to be responsible, motivated adults who actively participate in directing and assessing their own learning progress, guided by staff, fellow students, patients and others.

The principles that underpin the assessment programme in the Otago MB ChB comply with those of the University of Otago and have been adapted to meet the needs of a medical programme which has responsibiliies to the medical profession and to the public of New Zealand.

This page of the MB ChB website provides information on assessment in the Otago MB ChB course of particular interest to module conveners.

Main purposes of assessment for the Otago MB ChB

There are three main purposes of assessment in the Otago MB ChB course:

  1. Ensuring that individual students are satisfactory to progress – ensuring that students during the course are performing above satisfactory standards to progress, and that students at the completion of the course have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes/behaviours that lead to safe, fit-for-purpose practice
  2. Guiding student learning – enabling students to understand their progress relative to defined standards, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, evaluating their self-assessment, directing and motivating their future learning, identifying areas they might see as potential for improvement and achieving personal excellence
  3. Evaluating the course – assessment results are used as part of the quality improvement process of the medical degree.

Managing assessment

Assessment policy, procedure and processes are managed centrally through the Otago Medical School, with module assessments developed and delivered locally through the campuses.

  • At the module level, module conveners are the principal conduit for assessment and the first contact for staff who wish to clarify their role in ALM assessments
  • End-of-year exams, which are the same for all students, are managed by OSCE and Written Exam sub-committees
  • The decisions on student progress are made by the relevant Board of Censors.

Assessment resources

Policies and procedures

The MB ChB Assessment Policies and Procedures document (APP), updated annually, is the overarching resource for information on all aspects of assessment for the programme.
Staff involved with assessing students should be familiar with the APP and other relevant policies.

Staff support documents

OMS has developed guidelines to help staff develop their expertise in key areas of assessment, including providing feedback and setting questions.


Dr Mike Tweed
MB ChB Assessment Convener

Fiona Hyland
MB ChB Assessment Manager

Tony Zaharic
ELM Assessment Convener
Centre for Early Learning in Medicine

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