Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Medical Education

Research into Assessment Methods

Assessment is a key research area for many medical schools. Below are several examples of Southampton projects that have already been reported. Abstracts of journal articles and poster presentations are available through the links.

Within Medical Education, interest in both the Mini-CEX and OSCEs continues. In addition, we are currently scoping projects on peer assessment and examiner drift. Much of this work is collaborative and involves Southampton colleagues from other units as well as researchers in other UK medical schools.

Assessment of Clinical Competence

The Assessment of Clinical Competence (ACC) formerly known as the Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX)

The Mini-CEX is considered a valid form of assessment that is most commonly used in postgraduate training settings. It was introduced as a summative assessment tool into the undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine programme at Southampton in the academic year 2004/05; a move which is mirrored by many other UK medical schools.

Two Southampton researchers - Faith Hill and Kathy Kendall - set out to establish the feasibility, acceptability and educational impact of the Mini-CEX within the undergraduate context. This research resulted in a paper in Clinical Teacher (Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 244-248, December 2007) entitled: Adopting and adapting the mini-CEX as an undergraduate assessment and learning tool. Subsequently, they were joined by Kevin Galbraith and a colleague from Sheffield, Jim Crossley, to establish the validity and reliability of the Mini-CEX in the assessment of undergraduate medical students. Their findings were published in Medical Education: Implementing the undergraduate mini-CEX: a tailored approach at Southampton University (Medical Education, Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 326-334, April 2009).

Post Review Changes

More recently an extensive review was conducted by Bruce McManus and Frazer Anderson. This review resulted in two key changes:

Objective Structured Clinical Exam

A team of Southampton colleagues including Dr Bruce McManus, Faculty Assessment Analysis and Development Lead & BM Finals OSCE Coordinator, shared a research interest in improving OSCEs. They set out to model and pilot the use of the confidence interval (CI) and standard error of the measurement (SEM) with the borderline regression method, in line with recommendations by PMETB/GMC, and in place of simple examiner global judgements. A poster summarising this work was presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association for the Study of Medical Education in Edinburgh.

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader
Privacy Settings