Test expectations and marking rubric on tests

Based on the mid-term review and the low average of the Rx2013 class, it appears that most students did not achieve a good grade because of the vague mark break down of questions. As an example, when a professor asks "What therapy would you change and why?" and the question is out of 2 marks, it is unclear how many marks are allocated to therapy selection and how many are allocated to the explanation. Another example is justifying a treatment based on available evidence. If the question is out of 4 marks it is unclear how many marks are allocated to describing 1) strengths 2) weaknesses and 3) providing a bottom line. It would be ideal to phrase questions the following way (given a hypothetical case question): Current way: What is the drug therapy problem and how would you treat it? [4 marks] Preferred way: What is the drug therapy problem [1 mark]? What therapy change would you make [1 mark]? Explain why you would exclude other treatments [1 mark]? Outline the monitoring parameters for your chosen treatment [1 mark]. A similar mark break down would greatly facilitate focused answers under a time pressure on tests/exams. We would greatly appreciate that consideration be given to writing test questions this way.

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