How to assess communication skills – general principles

It has been suggested that assessment drives learning. Learners tend to learn what they expect to be assessed in at final exams. This requires that learning outcomes from teaching should be openly stated and should conform to the requirements for passing examinations. The use of tools for formative and summative assessment is expected to build on the same framework for clinical encounters that is used in teaching.

For your reference, we provide a concise introduction on the general principles for the assessment of communication skills, developed by the tEACH assessment subgroup, in which all aspects of communication assessment in educational settings are discussed in a nutshell.

Numerous studies have been made on how and why to assess competencies in communication. We give only a few references, mainly reviews or consensus statements, from the vast literature on this subject, which can be accessed here.