Assessment partnerships from the start: Building reflective practice as a beginning paramedic student competency

James Thompson, Leah Couzner, Don Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The ability to critically self-evaluate is fundamental to professional health roles. Reflective practice is now a recognised feature of the professional capabilities of registered paramedics in Australia, which has implications for both education and industry when determining competency. Reflective practice currently receives little priority in teaching, often appearing late in curriculum and not usually linked to high stakes assessment. It is argued that sustainable reflective practice skills should appear earlier and include opportunities for active student involvement in decisions regarding their learning. Student-tutor consensus assessment (STCA) is a reflection-in-practice technique providing a structured approach for critically appraising practice, while calibrating judgement witassessors. We evaluated the experiences of a cohort of newly commencing undergraduates within a fundamentals of paramedic practice subject. Methods Students were invited to complete a questionnaire relating to their perceptions and experiences after participating in the STCA approach. Results 88 responses were collected which indicated broad agreement regarding the value to learning and recognition for the importance of reflective practice skills to future professional roles. Conclusion Students readily embraced the principles of reflective practice and were able to effectively contribute to high level decisions regarding their work despite having only recently commenced the program. In addition, the high levels of broad agreement for the value of the STCA approach, suggest reflective practice and critical thinking-based assessments have a more important role to play in paramedic education.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal of Paramedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Paramedic competency
  • paramedic education
  • Reflective practice
  • Students as partners


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