By Pakhi Sharma, Darsy Darssan, Alexandra Robbins-Hill, & Gail Williams (The University of Queensland)
Assessments can be the most exciting part of a course and usually drive student learning. Many students aim to work after their postgraduate degree, but are assessments making graduates job-ready? We implemented an assessment in a postgraduate biostatistics class with over 120 students from different backgrounds (public health, medicine, epidemiology). We set assessments that imitated real-life scenarios for them to devise real-life solutions. The assessment exposed students to real data, provided an opportunity for peer reviewing, and required them to present their learnings to a lay audience. Feedback showed that the students found this enjoyable, motivating, and challenging. We suggest that assessments that imitate real-life practice are necessary to impart essential professional skills. We anticipate this could potentially prepare graduates to apply biostatistics in their field of work.