Technology-enabled assessment of health professions education: consensus statement and recommendations from the Ottawa 2010 Conference

Med Teach. 2011;33(5):364-9. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.565832.


The uptake of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in health professions education can have far-reaching consequences on assessment. The medical education community still needs to develop a deeper understanding of how technology can underpin and extend assessment practices. This article was developed by the 2010 Ottawa Conference Consensus Group on technology-enabled assessment to guide practitioners and researchers working in this area. This article highlights the changing nature of ICTs in assessment, the importance of aligning technology-enabled assessment with local context and needs, the need for better evidence to support use of technologies in health profession education assessment, and a number of challenges, particularly validity threats, that need to be addressed while incorporating technology in assessment. Our recommendations are intended for all practitioners across health professional education. Recommendations include adhering to principles of good assessment, the need for developing coherent institutional policy, using technologies to broaden the competencies to be assessed, linking patient-outcome data to assessment of practitioner performance, and capitalizing on technologies for the management of the entire life-cycle of assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Computers*
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Wireless Technology*