Evaluation of Student-Tutor Consensus Marking Model in First Year Paramedic Undergraduate Degree: Developing Skills in Self-Evaluation

Anthea Cayetano, James Thompson, Leah Couzner, Simon Pope, Donald Houston

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Once students leave university they must be capable of examining their own practice and evaluating their own deficiencies (Eva, Cunnington et al. 2004). This is particularly important in the pre-hospital environment where the graduate paramedic will be working autonomously as an operational paramedic and the gravity of mistakes made can be significant
(Zimmerman 1990).
Students undertaking the Paramedic Science degree at Flinders University have not been given any structured tuition in self-evaluation until the 3rd year of their education. Once students reach the 3rd year they are introduced to the Student-Tutor consensus model. This method employs a criterion referenced self-assessment formula to evaluate student performance in a structured simulation. Students are asked to consider their own performance in each area; 1. Knowledge and Understanding, 2. Application of Clinical Skills, 3. Communication, 4. Teamwork and Leadership, 5. Scene Management (Thompson, Houston et al 2017). Students engage in a conversation with industry-based tutors to calibrate their judgements against industry standards.
However it was felt that developing the skill of self-evaluation as a key foundation of paramedic practice (Carter & Thompson, (2015) was too important to leave until the last year of their education. We determined to introduce the student tutor approach to developing self-evaluation skills into first year simulation experience and continue to develop them during the entirety of the degree.
Given that student-tutor consensus marking differs to the traditional forms of assessment that students may have previously experienced, a pilot research study was conducted to measure the students’ perceptions of student-tutor consensus marking.
First year students were surveyed at the beginning of the semester and again in their last week of semester after experiencing the approach. Questions were asked on a number
of points including their perceptions of the consensus-marking process, their skills and knowledge as a student paramedic and their ability to critically appraise their own performance.
Overall the results demonstrated that students felt that the student-tutor consensus marking to be a fair (87% of students) and effective (96% of students) method of assessment. They stated that the experience aided them to develop industry-relevant skills (95% of students) and increased their self-confidence in their knowledge and practice (94% of students).
Therefore it was determined to introduce the student-consensus marking to the entirety of the first year of the paramedic degree and conduct further research into its effectiveness as an assessment method.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventHigher Education Group of South Australia (HERGA) Conference - University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 25 Sept 201825 Sept 2018


ConferenceHigher Education Group of South Australia (HERGA) Conference
Abbreviated titleHERGA 2018


  • assessment methods
  • Assessment
  • Paramedic


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