MSc⁺ Courses

  • Date 
    April 5, 2021
    Application Deadline 
    March 15, 2021
Course fee
  • €1500
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Assessment, A Critical Appraisal

“We need better understanding of how our assessment practices impact professional development. Excellent research is the key to success.”

Marjan Govaerts, Programme Coordinator

Fast facts


  • 12-week online course, advanced level (3ECTS). Study load: approx. 1day/week
  • Strongly oriented on assessment research and the latest developments in the assessment domain
  • Particularly relevant for candidates in health professions education with a strong research orientation.
Programme information

Are you involved in assessment in the health professions and wish to know more about the cutting edge research that is being done in this domain? To shape your assessment practice or conduct your assessment research, it is essential to know the state of the art in this domain. Assessment in the health professions is at a crossroads: ongoing and dramatic changes in healthcare and education systems call for new ways of thinking about assessment practices. It is the most important topic within health professions education research, as evidenced by the number of publications. It is an ongoing struggle, but these are exciting times to be involved in assessment research.

Assessment authority Cees van der Vleuten and his team of experts will guide you to the cutting edge of where research on assessment currently is. The very flexible program will be tailored to your individual interests and you will explore a number of areas and debates in the domain of assessment that shed light on these transitions. In addition, you will practice academic skills such as locating, retrieving, and reviewing essential literature and collaborating with your peers in assessing the quality of research designs and journal articles. In several synchronous online sessions, you will discuss your assignments with your peers and with the experts.

Self Assessment SHE Maastricht University


By the end of the course, you will have familiarized yourself with a broad range of research topics in this domain, and have acquired a deep understanding of recent developments and existing gaps in the literature on assessment. You gain insight in how to do cutting edge research in these domains closely related to your own project. An overview of modern assessment research and practice will help you in your personal research project or assessment practice.

  • Aquiring a broad understanding of research topics in the domain of assessment of professional competence and competence development.
  • Acquiring in-depth knowledge of recent developments and gaps of knowledge in specific topics in the domain of assessment of professional competence and competence development.
  • Exploring debates in the literature on research in the domain of assessment of professional competence and competence development.
  • Critically reading and evaluating scientific literature in your domain.
  • Asking the right questions when designing research on assessment.
  • Convincing the public of the theoretical and practical relevance of your own research project.
  • Communicating and collaborating internationally with peer (PhD) researchers.

Assessment of Professional Competences in health professions education, SHE Maastricht University

Learners profile

This course is for you, if:

  • You are involved in (re)designing assessment practices in the health professions education;
  • You are a researcher or PhD student involved in a research project on assessment in health professions education;
  • You are otherwise highly interested in research on assessment in health professions education.

Note that this is not a beginner’s course on assessment or research. It is an advanced course focusing on cutting edge research. You are expected to have the following prior knowledge:

  • You have a working knowledge of the research cycle: identifying a problem, studying literature, formulating research questions and hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data and reporting results;
  • You can distinguish common types of quantitative and qualitative research, such as survey research, (quasi)experimental research, correlational research, case studies, etc;
  • You are familiar with basic principles of assessment of learningfor learning, and as learning;
  • You are able to evaluate the quality of assessment in an educational program in health professions education;
  • You are able to write a basic research proposal for evaluating the quality of assessment and assessment programs in health professions education.
Admissions requirements

You have a higher education degree equivalent to a Dutch Master’s degree in one of the health professions, such as a master’s degree in medicine, health sciences, educational sciences, psychology or any related discipline.

The programme is taught in English. 

You have sufficient English proficiency and have adequate and active command of English (in speech and written). You are able to have discussions with your teachers and peers in English and you are able to give and receive constructive feedback to others. Note that all submitted materials must be in English, and all communication during the program will be in English. No additional evidence of sufficient command of the English language is required.

You have a positive attitude towards online education and digital tools. You have the resources to communicate synchronously and asynchronously with peers and teachers.

Teaching method

This is a fully online 12-week course, including several synchronous and asynchronous sessions and online assignments.

You are expected to spend approximately one day per week on coursework, but you can be flexible in where, when, and how you work on the assignments. However, there are four main assignments with specific submission dates and approximately four synchronous live sessions which will be planned at the start of the course. Upon completing all assignments, you will receive the certificate of completion for this course.

Assessment of Professional Competence, SHE Maastricht University


Your teachers are true scholars and experts in the field of assessment. Marjan Govaerts, PhD and Course Coordinator, Professor Cees van der Vleuten, PhD, Scientific Director SHE, Professor Sylvia Heeneman, PhD; Jimmy Frèrejean, PhD.


Principal Staff involved

  • Marjan Govaerts, PhD and Course Coordinator;
  • Professor Cees van der Vleuten, PhD, Scientific Director SHE;
  • Professor Sylvia Heeneman, PhD;
  • Jimmy Frèrejean, PhD.