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Andrea Owen

  • Miss
  • Examinations Officer
  • Lancaster University Lancaster Medical School
  • 1PublicationsNumber of items in Andrea's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 4Followers


My role at Lancaster Medical School is to inform and support the set up and delivery of a fit for purpose programme of assessment. This involves looking at the whole curriculum and, with the support of several specialist working groups, designing an assessment blueprint. This requires agreeing on sufficient sampling of learning objectives, the selection and construction of meaningful test items, stations and other measurement tools, plus the overarching quality assurance and governance processes. Moreover it requires that all learning objectives are tagged to the subpargraphs of the outcomes for graduates set out in Tomorrow Doctor's (2009), so that assessments per year, and overall, can be planned and constructed to cover Tomorrow's Doctor's (2009). Via use of specialist software, learning objectives are created, revised and approved and then linked to various further curriculum relevant taxonomies, so as to ensure plans for teaching, learning and assessment are appropriate from the point of view of Tomorrow's Doctors and the supplementary advice set out by the General Medical Council. The role complements my PhD study into how thinking and scores are linked, and how the language and semantic content of scenario based written assessment items can influence meaningful thinking, and therefore impact validity of scores, which is of particular importance in progression and graduation decisions in undergraduate medicine. My interests are measurement of cognition, early medical expertise, and assessment, particularly written forms, in undergraduate medicine. My research approach spans qualitative, quantitative and experimental methodologies, aiming to meaningfully investigate the "black box" of cognition, so as to understand and be able to make statistical conclusions about the real impact of assessment item design primarily on the thinking processes prompted and measured, the product of which is a students score. Until January 2012, I managed Collaborative Content, a national, FDTL-4 grant pump-primed question banking initiative, supported by a team of staff known as the Universities Medical Assessment Project. The collaborative initiative, based for 8 years at the University Hospital of South Manchester was begun in January 2003. Between 2003 and 2011, medical school members grew from 5 to 16 before management shifted to London in 2011 when all 31 UK Deans of Medicine agreed to participate under the umbrella of the Medical Schools Council, thereby creating the Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance, which also oversees the National Prescribing Exam and the Situational Judgement Test.

Recent publications

  • Views, behaviours and perceived staff development needs of doctors and surgeons regarding learners in outpatient clinics.

    • O'Neill P
    • Owen A
    • McArdle P
    • et al.

Professional experience

Examinations Officer

Lancaster Medical School

January 2003 - Present

Academic Coordinator, Collaborative Content for UK Medical School Assessment

University of Manchester

January 2003 - January 2012(9 years)


PhD Medical Education

University of Manchester

September 2008 - Present

MA Personnel & Development

De Montfort University

September 2000 - June 2001(9 months)

BSc Psychology

School of Psychology, University of Leicester

September 1997 - June 2000(3 years)


Followers (4)

Following (6)