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Acad Med. 2013 Mar;88(3):369-75. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318280a6f6.

Estimating learning outcomes from pre- and posttest student self-assessments: a longitudinal study.

Author information

1
Göttingen Medical School, and Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Hospital Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Learning outcome is an important measure for overall teaching quality and should be addressed by comprehensive evaluation tools. The authors evaluated the validity of a novel evaluation tool based on student self-assessments, which may help identify specific strengths and weaknesses of a particular course.

METHOD:

In 2011, the authors asked 145 fourth-year students at Göttingen Medical School to self-assess their knowledge on 33 specific learning objectives in a pretest and posttest as part of a cardiorespiratory module. The authors compared performance gain calculated from self-assessments with performance gain derived from formative examinations that were closely matched to these 33 learning objectives.

RESULTS:

Eighty-three students (57.2%) completed the assessment. There was good agreement between performance gain derived from subjective data and performance gain derived from objective examinations (Pearson r=0.78; P<.0001) on the group level. The association between the two measures was much weaker when data were analyzed on the individual level. Further analysis determined a quality cutoff for performance gain derived from aggregated student self-assessments. When using this cutoff, the evaluation tool was highly sensitive in identifying specific learning objectives with favorable or suboptimal objective performance gains.

CONCLUSIONS:

The tool is easy to implement, takes initial performance levels into account, and does not require extensive pre-post testing. By providing valid estimates of actual performance gain obtained during a teaching module, it may assist medical teachers in identifying strengths and weaknesses of a particular course on the level of specific learning objectives.

PMID:
23348083
DOI:
10.1097/ACM.0b013e318280a6f6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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