A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment in medical education

Francois Cilliers, Lambertus Schuwirth, N Herman, H.J. Adendorff, Cees Van der Vleuten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    56 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    It has become axiomatic that assessment impacts powerfully on student learning. However, surprisingly little research has been published emanating from authentic higher education settings about the nature and mechanism of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment. Less still emanates from health sciences education settings. This study explored the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment in theoretical modules by exploring the variables at play in a multifaceted assessment system and the relationships between them. Using a grounded theory strategy, in-depth interviews were conducted with individual medical students and analyzed qualitatively. Respondents' learning was influenced by task demands and system design. Assessment impacted on respondents' cognitive processing activities and metacognitive regulation activities. Individually, our findings confirm findings from other studies in disparate non-medical settings and identify some new factors at play in this setting. Taken together, findings from this study provide, for the first time, some insight into how a whole assessment system influences student learning over time in a medical education setting. The findings from this authentic and complex setting paint a nuanced picture of how intricate and multifaceted interactions between various factors in an assessment system interact to influence student learning. A model linking the sources, mechanism and consequences of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment is proposed that could help enhance the use of summative assessment as a tool to augment learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-53
    Number of pages15
    JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
    Volume17
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Determinants of action
    • Health sciences education
    • Higher education
    • Learning effects of assessment
    • Mechanism of impact
    • Medical education
    • Model
    • Pre-assessment effects
    • Source of impact
    • Summative assessment

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A model of the pre-assessment learning effects of summative assessment in medical education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this