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A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of assessment is operational in an undergraduate clinical context.

Cilliers FJ, Schuwirth LW, van der Vleuten CP - BMC Med Educ (2012)

Bottom Line: In this setting, learning effects resulted not only from the high-stakes nature of summative assessment but also from personal stakes, e.g. for esteem and agency.The results suggest that to influence student learning, consequences should accrue from assessment that are immediate, concrete and substantial.The model could have utility as a planning or diagnostic tool in practice and research settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stellenbosch University, Matieland 7602, South Africa. fjc@sun.ac.za

ABSTRACT

Background: No validated model exists to explain the learning effects of assessment, a problem when designing and researching assessment for learning. We recently developed a model explaining the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment in a theory teaching context. The challenge now is to validate this model. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the model was operational in a clinical context as a first step in this process.

Methods: Given the complexity of the model, we adopted a qualitative approach. Data from in-depth interviews with eighteen medical students were subject to content analysis. We utilised a code book developed previously using grounded theory. During analysis, we remained alert to data that might not conform to the coding framework and open to the possibility of deploying inductive coding. Ethical clearance and informed consent were obtained.

Results: The three components of the model i.e., assessment factors, mechanism factors and learning effects were all evident in the clinical context. Associations between these components could all be explained by the model. Interaction with preceptors was identified as a new subcomponent of assessment factors. The model could explain the interrelationships of the three facets of this subcomponent i.e., regular accountability, personal consequences and emotional valence of the learning environment, with previously described components of the model.

Conclusions: The model could be utilized to analyse and explain observations in an assessment context different to that from which it was derived. In the clinical setting, the (negative) influence of preceptors on student learning was particularly prominent. In this setting, learning effects resulted not only from the high-stakes nature of summative assessment but also from personal stakes, e.g. for esteem and agency. The results suggest that to influence student learning, consequences should accrue from assessment that are immediate, concrete and substantial. The model could have utility as a planning or diagnostic tool in practice and research settings.

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A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11].
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Figure 1: A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11].

Mentions: Although not typically designed with learning aforethought, summative assessment strongly influences learning. We recently proposed a model explaining the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11]. According to the model (Figure 1), task demands and system design influence the quality and regulation of learning. These effects are mediated by a mechanism that involves impact appraisal, response appraisal, perceived agency and interpersonal factors. Thus, when contemplating an upcoming assessment event, students may consider the likelihood that assessment will impact them (positively or negatively) and what the magnitude of that impact is likely to be. They may consider the efficacy of any given learning response in bringing about a desired outcome, the costs of that learning response and how the desired or likely outcome relates to their values. Their perceptions of their ability to bring about a particular outcome may also influence their learning, as may their perceptions of the opinions of referents like lecturers and fellow students and their motivation to comply with those perceptions.


A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of assessment is operational in an undergraduate clinical context.

Cilliers FJ, Schuwirth LW, van der Vleuten CP - BMC Med Educ (2012)

A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375194&req=5

Figure 1: A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11].
Mentions: Although not typically designed with learning aforethought, summative assessment strongly influences learning. We recently proposed a model explaining the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment [11]. According to the model (Figure 1), task demands and system design influence the quality and regulation of learning. These effects are mediated by a mechanism that involves impact appraisal, response appraisal, perceived agency and interpersonal factors. Thus, when contemplating an upcoming assessment event, students may consider the likelihood that assessment will impact them (positively or negatively) and what the magnitude of that impact is likely to be. They may consider the efficacy of any given learning response in bringing about a desired outcome, the costs of that learning response and how the desired or likely outcome relates to their values. Their perceptions of their ability to bring about a particular outcome may also influence their learning, as may their perceptions of the opinions of referents like lecturers and fellow students and their motivation to comply with those perceptions.

Bottom Line: In this setting, learning effects resulted not only from the high-stakes nature of summative assessment but also from personal stakes, e.g. for esteem and agency.The results suggest that to influence student learning, consequences should accrue from assessment that are immediate, concrete and substantial.The model could have utility as a planning or diagnostic tool in practice and research settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stellenbosch University, Matieland 7602, South Africa. fjc@sun.ac.za

ABSTRACT

Background: No validated model exists to explain the learning effects of assessment, a problem when designing and researching assessment for learning. We recently developed a model explaining the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment in a theory teaching context. The challenge now is to validate this model. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the model was operational in a clinical context as a first step in this process.

Methods: Given the complexity of the model, we adopted a qualitative approach. Data from in-depth interviews with eighteen medical students were subject to content analysis. We utilised a code book developed previously using grounded theory. During analysis, we remained alert to data that might not conform to the coding framework and open to the possibility of deploying inductive coding. Ethical clearance and informed consent were obtained.

Results: The three components of the model i.e., assessment factors, mechanism factors and learning effects were all evident in the clinical context. Associations between these components could all be explained by the model. Interaction with preceptors was identified as a new subcomponent of assessment factors. The model could explain the interrelationships of the three facets of this subcomponent i.e., regular accountability, personal consequences and emotional valence of the learning environment, with previously described components of the model.

Conclusions: The model could be utilized to analyse and explain observations in an assessment context different to that from which it was derived. In the clinical setting, the (negative) influence of preceptors on student learning was particularly prominent. In this setting, learning effects resulted not only from the high-stakes nature of summative assessment but also from personal stakes, e.g. for esteem and agency. The results suggest that to influence student learning, consequences should accrue from assessment that are immediate, concrete and substantial. The model could have utility as a planning or diagnostic tool in practice and research settings.

Show MeSH