Facilitating technology-enhanced external examination moderation during the Covid-19 pandemic





International External Examiner, Virtual Oral Examination, Adapted Assessment, Covid-19 pandemic, Assessment Challenges.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, the physical presence of international external examiners was a challenge when assessing the exit level outcomes of the MSc (Dent) in Paediatric Dentistry at the University of the Western Cape.
External moderation of final examinations ensure an acceptable standard, coverage of content as specified by the programme outcomes and eliminates bias during assessment. Internationalization of the moderation andexamination process allows countries to compare and maintain international standards and graduate attributes expected for professional qualifications.Qualifications
requiring assessment of skills often rely on ObjectiveStructured Clinical Examinations, Objective Structured Practical Examinations and simulated cases in combination with an oral examination, which requires the presence of all examiners to assess the student.
This paper describes how the final examination in this MSc (Dent) degree was adapted and conducted in order to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, to maintain the academic integrity and rigour of the programme. A narrative essay-style approach was adopted, which reflects on the challenges and opportunities created by Covid-19. The adapted assessment method proved to be an effective alternative to the more traditional assessment approaches employed pre-Covid.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


The University of the Western Cape. UWC Assessment Policy. 2021. Available from https:// www.uwc.ac.za/files/files/General-Calendar-2021-Assessment.pdf. pp 88-90.

Schuwirth LW, Van der Vleuten CP. Understanding medical education: evidence, theory, and practice. 3rd Edition. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell; 2018. Chapter 20. How to Design a Useful Test: The Principles of Assessment. pp 275-89. Available from https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119373780.ch20

Patil SY, Gosavi M, Bannur HB, Ratnakar A. Blueprinting in assessment: A tool to increase the validity of undergraduate written examinations in pathology. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2022 Feb 8];Aug;5(Suppl 1):S76-9. doi: 10.4103/2229-516X.162286.

Dory V, Gagnon R, Charlin B, Vanpee D, Leconte S, Duyver C, et al. In brief: Validity of case summaries in written examinations of clinical reasoning. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2016;28(4):375-84.

Hays RB, Hamlin G, Crane L. Twelve tips for increasing the defensibility of assessment decisions. Medical Teacher. 2015;37(5):433-6.

Van Der Vleuten CP, Schuwirth LW. Assessing professional competence: from methods to programmes. Medical Education. 2005;39(3):309-

Wass V, Van der Vleuten C, Shatzer J, Jones R. Assessment of clinical competence. The Lancet. 001;357(9260):945-9.

Driessen EW, Overeem K, Van Tartwijk J, Van Der Vleuten CP, Muijtjens AM. Validity of portfolio assessment: which qualities determine ratings? Medical Education. 2006;40(9):862-6.

Sackett PR, Schmitt N, Ellingson JE, Kabin MB. High-stakes testing in employment, credentialing, and higher education: Prospects in a postaffirmative-action world. American Psychologist. 2001;56(4):302.

McMullan M, Endacott R, Gray MA, Jasper M, Miller CM, Scholes J, et al. Portfolios and assessment of competence: a review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2003;41(3):283-94.

Gadbury-Amyot CC, McCracken MS, Woldt JL, Brennan RL. Validity and reliability of portfolio assessment of student competence in two dental school populations: a four-year study. Journal of Dental Education. 2014;78(5):657-67.

Memon MA, Joughin GR, Memon B. Oral assessment and postgraduate medical examinations: establishing conditions for validity,

reliability and fairness. Advances in Health Sciences Education. 2010;15(2):277-89.




How to Cite

Potgieter, N., Mohamed, N., Vergotine, R. J., & Peck, C. W. (2022). Facilitating technology-enhanced external examination moderation during the Covid-19 pandemic. South African Dental Journal, 77(08), 478–482. https://doi.org/10.17159/2519-0105/2022/v77no8a4