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Med Educ Online. 2008 Nov 24;13:15. doi: 10.3885/meo.2008.Res00279.

The effect of enhanced experiential learning on the personal reflection of undergraduate medical students.

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  • 1Center for Research and Innovation of Medical Education, University of Groningen and University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands.



This study's aim was to test the expectation that enhanced experiential learning is an effective educational method that encourages personal reflection in medical students.


Using a pre post-test follow-up design, the level of the personal reflection ability of an exposure group of first-year medical students participating in a new enhanced experiential learning program was compared to that of a control group of second- and third-year medical students participating in a standard problem-based learning program. Personal reflection was assessed using the Groningen Reflection Ability Scale (GRAS). Students' growth in reflection was analyzed with multilevel analysis.


After one year, first-year medical students in the exposure group achieved a level of personal reflection comparable to that reached by students of the control group in their third year. This difference in growth of reflection was statistically significant (p<.001), with a small effect size (effect size = 0.18). The reflection growth curve of the control group declined slightly in the third year as a function of study time.


Enhanced experiential learning has a positive effect on the personal reflection ability of undergraduate medical students.

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