Assessment

Virtual Exam Development Summit Provides a Chance to Connect

By Emily Yunker, MPA, PMPApril 8, 2020

The Emergency Medicine and General Surgery EDB takes a break with their pets. Photo: PAEA

Exam Development Board members came together from far away for the sixth annual Exam Development Summit.

In these extraordinary times, 65 Exam Development Board (EDB) members gathered online March 27–29 for the first fully virtual Exam Development Summit, giving a sense of normalcy when everything else is in such a state of flux. We didn’t get to hold the usual four-day meeting, but the condensed schedule made for a manageable and fun experience.

The primary purpose of this annual meeting is to conduct the second peer review of exam questions before forms are constructed, reviewed, and published. Each EDB reviews the questions written and revised over the course of the year, checking for appropriate structure and changes in medical standards in the months since they were written. This collaborative time is used to make edits and sign off on the final language. This is a major undertaking — even more so when done virtually — and one that provided a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to participants, with the guidance of their chairs and in collaboration with editorial consultants. The work from this meeting will lead to the publication of:

The work from this meeting will lead to the publication of:

We also conduct key validation at the Summit facilitated by our psychometric partners. Select volunteers review performance statistics for items administered in the current exams to determine whether they are performing as expected and can be retained, have minor issues and can be revised to meet expectations, or have serious interpretation problems and should be deleted.

The Summit is also a key opportunity for EDB members — who work together in smaller groups throughout the year — to network as assessment community members. While the all-EDB socializing was not possible, folks were able to interact in six- to eight-person groups during the Summit. Members came together not only to “geek out” about assessment, but also to share what’s going on at their programs, which in this current environment of adapting to online instruction and other challenges was of great interest.

You can learn more about the exam development process, including the additional steps used to standardize the End of Curriculum exam over the last year, on the process page of the assessment website.

We look forward to seeing all EDB members in person at the 2021 Exam Development Summit in Chicago — and hopefully before then!

*UPDATE: Version 7 of End of Rotation will remain active and in circulation for current and new cohorts. When we release version 8, programs will receive ample notice. You can find additional information here.

Emily Yunker, MPA, PMP

Emily is director of assessment at PAEA. In this role, she coordinates the development and implementation of the PACKRAT™ and End of Rotation™ exams, working to provide the best possible tools to assess PA student knowledge.