Description and impact of using a standard-setting method for determining pass/fail scores in a surgery clerkship

Nancy Schindler*, Julia Corcoran, Debra DaRosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Research on performance evaluation highlights the importance of using multiple measures to develop an accurate profile of students, yet we found no literature describing the use of a standard-setting method for determining a pass/fail cutoff for a clerkship based on multiple assessment methods. Method: Steps in setting an absolute standard for a pass/fail grade are described. The new cut-off score was used to compare what decisions would have been made had it been applied in previous clerkships. Results: We successfully applied the Hofstee method to ascertain a new standard pass/fail cutoff for our total surgery clerkship score. Had this absolute score been used in 4 prior clerkships, 150 instead of 152 would have passed the clerkship, and 10 instead of 8 would have failed the clerkship. Conclusions: A standard-setting method can be applied to a final clinical clerkship grade even when multiple performance measures are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Volume193
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

Keywords

  • Clerkship grades
  • Hofstee
  • Pass/fail cutoff
  • Standard setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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