First: The Examination Unit
This is principally responsible for the logistics of the examination process. The responsibilities include:
- Securing the needs and requirements of the Examination Unit (stationery, maintenance and equipment, furniture) in a timely manner.
- Preparing and announcing exam schedules, including courses, dates, times and places for holding exams, after being approved by the College Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.
- Preparing the lists of students who are allowed to enter the exam.
- Preparing and circulating exam room schedules, including data related to exams, supervisors, observers, and students.
- Printing the question papers and keeping the question papers and answers in closed and secure envelopes, observing the utmost levels of confidentiality in all of this.
- Preparing the file for examining each course (student lists, exam process model…).
- Supervising the conduct of exams and entry of students into the halls, distributing supervisors, following up their attendance, identifying those who failed, and preparing a report on the progress of the exam process if necessary.
- Coordinating the presence of the correctors to finish the correction of the questions with short answers and articles.
- Coordination with the Assessment Unit regarding the procedural arrangements of the Central Question Bank.
- Suggesting procedures related to the conduct of the examination process and submitting them for approval.
- Supervising the preparation of study schedules for the various programs and coordinating the halls among them in cooperation and coordination with the academic departments and the various concerned departments.
Second: The Assessment Unit
On the other hand, the Assessment Unit is concerned with the quality of the exams. The Assessment Unit has the following responsibilities:
- Preparing standards for quality measurement and evaluation, proposing appropriate measurement and evaluation tools, setting guides, guiding regulations and forms, and suggesting updating all of this on a regular basis. At the beginning of the academic year, all assessment templates are shared to faculty.
- Suggesting the executive rules for the examination regulations and updating them periodically. The executive rules have been recently updated and shared. These are present on the Vision Colleges’ website (Regulations and Bylaws section).
- Reviewing the written exams before they are held in accordance with the standards set to ensure the quality of the exams and the validity of the results. The pre-exam revision is a comprehensive multi-step process (described in the Procedural Guide) that aims at verification of the quality of this assessment tool as well as its validity (to measure what is intended to measure). Criteria of a ‘good’ exam are explicitly shared. Central to validation of the exam is blueprinting. Course Assessment Blueprint is developed with branching assessment tools blueprints (OSCE blueprint, MCQ exam blueprint…). For each exam an expert reviewer is assigned. The DQC | EAC have introduced an initiative for a comprehensive Course Blueprinting and CLO Assessment using a locally-developed template for planning and calculation. Yet, the basic exam blueprint is required in 100% of courses.
- Supervising the electronic correction process for the written exams. The EAC uses Apperson DataLink Connect Test Scoring & Reporting software. It includes many features and the EAC has a well-trained administrator who manages test scoring with it. This allows verification of scoring, re-scoring, rubric and custom scoring, item analysis, among others.
- Post-exam analysis of exam results, preparation of exam analysis reports and exam vocabulary, and sending them to the course coordinators.
- Evaluating the exam reports prepared by the course coordinators and taking the necessary action regarding the proposed recommendations. All exam reports are considered before finalizing exam results.
- Verifying the integrity and accuracy of the marking and scoring of the exams and their results.
- Preparing the exam results lists and submitting to the academic administration for approval.
- Processing the post-exam results whenever needed in accordance with the executive rules and approved procedures.
- Considering the grievances and issues received on the written exams. According to the policies and procedures announced to students, students are allowed to complain or request support regarding the exam. Each appeal is investigated, and the result is declared to the student and management. A higher level of student’ appeal is the opportunity to fully revise the exam paper, model answer, and his/her answer, and inquire about all of this. This type is paid and the student is refunded whenever he/she is found to deserve a correction on his mark. This is a very important checkpoint for verification of validity and objectivity of the exams.
- Supervising the electronic archiving of exam papers, model answers, and students’ answer sheets; ensuring confidentiality and timely retrieval.
- Supervising the electronic archiving of exam results and exam-related cases; ensuring confidentiality and timely retrieval.
- Establishing a central item bank, setting up its operational procedures, supervising it, and working to develop it in accordance with the standards.
- Conducting appropriate studies and comparisons between the various evaluation results, both horizontally and vertically, through the academic program’s decisions internally or with the results of standard and national exams, in a way that contributes to improving the quality of the applied evaluation mechanisms.
- Supervising the on-campus national exams such as the Progress Test and similar tests that are conducted within the Vision Colleges.
- Evaluating the results of all evaluation methods to discover the problems associated with them and propose appropriate solutions to the Curriculum Management Committee. A tool is designed to evaluate and compare different assessment tools’ results and is used, on demand, to investigate the results in depth.
- Spreading the culture of measurement and evaluation by holding training courses, workshops, lectures and seminars in coordination with the Medical Education Center and its techniques and the Skills Development and Continuing Education Unit.
Intensive induction and orientation of the faculty takes place every year in order to disseminate the culture of quality assessment.