NEW! (17 March 2011): Letter to Members re: Meeting with Professor Anne Tonkin
Dear Second and Third Years,
We have made available here the submissions that the AMSS put to the Assessment Committee (below) regarding their plan to change the mid-year examinations in Second and Third Year to formative papers. This issue was mentioned in the AMSS Second and Third Year Welcomes on Wednesday 23 February and Friday 25 February respectively. As you will be aware, this plan to render the mid-year examinations formative has been approved.
AMSS Assessment Policy (Draft)
AMSS Assessment Committee Submission (Mid-Year Examinations
Please note that the AMSS Assessment Policy available here is a draft only, and has not been discussed or ratified by the Committee. We plan to raise this policy starting with the first Committee meeting this year, and all interested students are welcome to attend and contribute to discussion. As is mentioned in our submission, we would also like to note here that the Assessment Committee applies strictly limited resources to achieve optimal student outcomes. Students should recognise the members of this Assessment Committee make decisions with the best interests of students at heart.
There have been a number of developments since these documents were written and sent. In particular, Professor Tonkin has agreed to meet with us to ensure that the implementation of these changes preserve the priorities of students. This is a generous opportunity for us to ensure for students that any negative impacts of the alterations to assessment are avoided or minimised.
The AMSS is aware that there is a significant amount of consternation amongst the current Second and Third Year cohorts regarding these changes to assessment; there was quite a large amount of feedback sent to the 2010 AMSS Education Representatives for both year levels when these proposals were initially announced. This anecdotal feedback was strongly against the proposed changes and therefore this was the basis of our opposition at the relevant Assessment Committee meeting. Furthermore the AMSS has become seriously concerned about these developments because we perceive them to stem, at least in part, from increasing student numbers and consequent inadequate funding for the Medical Program. With this said, we acknowledge that our position is currently based on anecdotal data. We are very eager to be transparent with our membership and to ensure that we are indeed representing the majority student opinion. This is why these documents have been made accessible online, and why we are actively seeking student opinion and input.
We will be actively collecting student opinion specifically on this matter in the Australian Medical Council (AMC) survey, which you can complete by clicking here: AMC Survey. This survey will gather data to guide the AMSS submission to the AMC accreditation process which will occur this year; the surveys for current Second, Third and Fourth Years will include specific questions on these changes to the mid-year examinations, to enable you to submit your thoughts. We urge you to complete this survey so that we can advocate based on majority student opinion. This is particularly important in this case because we will use this data to guide our discussion with Professor Tonkin.
If you have any particularly strong feelings, please feel free to contact either Karthik Venkataraman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tom Crowhurst (email@example.com). We are also very happy to speak about these issues over the phone.