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Self-assessment and students’ study strategies in a community of clinical practice: A qualitative study

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Author(s): Hanan M. Al-Kadri | Mohamed S. Al-Moamary | Habib Al-Takroni | Chris Roberts | Cees P. M. van der Vleuten

Journal: Medical Education Online
ISSN 1087-2981

Volume: 17;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: self-assessment | study strategy | feedback | summative assessment | clinical attachment

ABSTRACT
: Self-assessment is recognized as a necessary skill for lifelong learning. It is widely reported to offer numerous advantages to the learner. The research evaluated the impact of students’ and supervisors’ self-assessment and feedback training on students’ perceptions and practices of self-assessment. Moreover, it evaluated the effect of self-assessment process on students’ study strategies within a community of clinical practice.: We conducted a qualitative phenomenological study from May 2008 to December 2009. We held 37 semi-structured individual interviews with three different cohorts of undergraduate medical students until we reached data saturation. The cohorts were exposed to different contexts while experiencing their clinical years’ assessment program. In the interviews, students’ perceptions and interpretations of ‘self-assessment practice’ and ‘supervisor-provided feedback’ within different contexts and the resulting study strategies were explored.: The analysis of interview data with the three cohorts of students yielded three major themes: strategic practice of self-assessment, self-assessment and study strategies, and feedback and study strategies. It appears that self-assessment is not appropriate within a summative context, and its implementation requires cultural preparation. Despite education and orientation on the two major components of the self-assessment process, feedback was more effective in enhancing deeper study strategies.: This research suggests that the theoretical advantages linked to the self-assessment process are a result of its feedback component rather than the practice of self-assessment isolated from feedback. Further research exploring the effects of different contextual and personal factors on students’ self-assessment is needed.
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