Establishing Trust When Assessing Learners: Barriers and Opportunities

Brigid M. Dolan, Jason Arnold, Marianne M. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Trust plays a critical role in the assessment of learners in the clinical setting. In an ideal system, learners can be vulnerable and share their limitations and areas for improvement, while faculty possess the time and skill to provide specific feedback that enables learners to achieve competency in clinical skills. For medical students, a number of threats to the establishment of trust in the learning environment exist, including the interplay between feedback and grades, the existence of bias, and competing demands for faculty time. However, several strategies can help institutions to overcome these threats and foster a culture of trust related to assessment and assessment systems: Provide ungraded environments where learners are able to be vulnerable, cocreate assessments and assessment systems with faculty and learners, acknowledge and address bias, and provide faculty with adequate time and resources to employ best practices in assessment. By intentionally employing these strategies, our institutions can support trust in assessment systems and further learner growth and achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1851-1853
Number of pages3
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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