By Linda A. Althouse, PhD
[Read Part 1 - ABP is on track to launch new exam pilote in January 2017 by Dr. David G. Nichols]
MOCA-Peds has not only taken over my work days, but is invading my dreams! And I’m not alone. This project is a big deal – and, like Dr. Nichols and many others involved in the development, I’m very optimistic and enthusiastic.
Currently, diplomates are required to pass an exam every 10 years to maintain their certification. These exams must be taken in a secure testing facility. The tests include approximately 200 questions, which pediatricians have up to four hours to complete.
The MOCA-Peds pilot will release to diplomates a series of questions at regular intervals, conveniently delivered through their mobile devices or a web browser. These questions and explanations of the answers will focus on both learning and the assessment of knowledge. If the pilot is successful, MOCA-Peds will become the summative assessment for MOC Part 3, meaning that a pass/fail decision will be made based on the diplomate’s performance on the test questions over time.
As it is a pilot, MOCA-Peds will be limited to the 2017 General Pediatrics MOC exam for those diplomates whose 10-year exams would be due in 2017. As we develop the platform, we are mindful of the opportunity to expand its use, and we intend to provide MOCA-Peds for subspecialties if the general pediatrics pilot is successful. However, subspecialists maintaining their general pediatrics certification and due to take their exam in 2017 are also eligible for the pilot.
As we have said, details are still being worked out, but so far, the ABP expects:
In the 2017 pilot, questions will be based on 40 learning objectives drawn from the General Pediatrics Content Outline that reflect the breadth of knowledge required for practice. During the year, the diplomate will receive two questions associated with each learning objective (not necessarily in the same quarter). By having two questions on each objective, diplomates will have the opportunity to demonstrate they learned material they did not previously know or to reinforce the information they did know.
This new platform also allows additional questions about new guidelines or emerging topics (e.g., Zika virus). These additional questions will be for the sake of learning only and will not be scored. For the pilot, the ABP will limit this feature to no more than five questions.
Subscribe the ABP Blog for updates. Upcoming topics will include: pediatrician feedback on design of MOCA-Peds; writing questions, discussion and resources; scoring, and other updates on the pilot progress. If you have immediate questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda A. Althouse, PhD is the Vice President of Psychometrics & Assessment Services at the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). With expertise in research and psychometrics (the development of examination and measurement instruments), Dr. Althouse is responsible for ensuring that the Board produces valid and reliable examinations that accurately assess a physician’s knowledge base. She is responsible for producing the ABP's annual workforce data book, and works closely with the ABP Research Advisory Committee, which develops new research initiatives and efforts related to board certification. Her doctorate is in educational psychology with a concentrated focus on measurement and assessment.