Evaluation of Learners

  • William C. McGaghie


The term evaluation frequently has a negative connotation, especially among learners who are enrolled in a program of study. When physicians-in-training are evaluated it often means they are in the spotlight, under close observation, for a long time. They are being judged. Evaluation takes on even greater significance when the judgment to be made is for high stakes, such as whether or not to grant a license to practice. High stakes evaluative decisions require sophisticated data collection and interpretation methods to ensure the decisions are accurate. That is why the medical specialty boards have elaborate certification testing programs. Specialty certification is an evaluative situation where the negative connotation probably develops from a fear-of-failure, a legitimate worry for physicians who have spent years preparing for careers that can’t get underway until they pass a test. Evaluation done for such other purposes as documenting a clinical clerk’s ability to do a physical examination or assessing character traits among prospective residents is often viewed negatively by learners because it is seen as “a waste of time” or “meaningless.” In short, evaluation is a process to which most learners grudgingly submit. It is rarely a process they seek or enjoy.


Learner Evaluation Medical Learner Evaluative Data Residency Program Director Academic Physician 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. McGaghie

There are no affiliations available

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