Program evaluation is a systematic collection of information about a broad range of topics for use by specific people for a variety of purposes. In this case our faculty, students, the community at large, the AHC, the University Of Minnesota and LCME are just a few of our major stakeholders. Therefore, we have many goals for our program evaluation process including: to help us determine how to improve our educational program: to decide what we need to replace, develop further, and eliminate; to determine next steps/make decisions; and ultimately to determine effectiveness and measure outcomes. All the data collected must demonstrate accountability for our efforts and inform our stakeholders. In addition, our accreditation body, LCME has explicit standards for program evaluation.
Program evaluation aims to answer at minimum the following questions:
- How well is our program performing overall?
- Are we meeting the objectives of our program?
- Are there any gaps in what our learners need to know?
- How well are we assessing the competencies of our learners?
To answer these questions and many more, the Office of Education systematically collects an array of quantitative and qualitative information regarding:
- student performance on national standards,
- student feedback on educational experiences,
- faculty teaching and mentoring,
- curriculum oversight and reviews, and
- national statistics (i.e., AAMC, NRMP).
These resources of data are provided through electronic surveys and evaluations, student liaisons, and national as well as internal record databases. Not only does this assortment of data provide value for planning and implementing curricula experiences, but we are also meet the standards of accreditation as set forth by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME).
ED-46: A medical school must collect and use a variety of outcome data, including national norms of accomplishment, to demonstrate the extent to which its educational program objectives are being met.
Schools should collect outcome data on student performance during and after medical school appropriate to document the achievement of the school's educational program objectives. The kinds of outcome data that could serve this purpose include performance on national licensure examinations, performance in courses/clerkships and other internal measures related to educational program objectives, academic progress and program completion rates, acceptance into residency programs, assessments of program directors and graduates on graduates' preparation in areas related to educational program objectives, including the professional behavior of their graduates.
ED-47: In assessing program quality, schools must consider student evaluations of their courses and teachers, as well as a variety of other measures.
It is expected that schools will have a formal process to collect and use information from students on the quality of courses and clerkships, which could include such measures as questionnaires (written or online), focus groups, or other structured data collection tools. Other measures could include peer review and external evaluation.