Medical Students’ Perceptions of Peer Assessment in a Problem-based Learning Curriculum

Yasin I. Tayem, Henry James, Khalid A. J. Al-Khaja, Rima L. A. Razzak, Bhagath K. Potu, Reginald P. Sequeira

Abstract


Objectives: Peer assessment (PA) is believed to support learning and help students develop both professionally and personally. The aim of this study was to examine medical students’ perceptions of intragroup PA in a problem-based learning (PBL) setting. Methods: This study was carried out between September and November 2014 and involved six random groups of fourth-year undergraduate medical students (n = 60) enrolled at the Arabian Gulf University in Manama, Bahrain. While working on set tasks within a curriculum unit, each student evaluated a randomly selected peer using an English language adapted assessment tool to measure responsibility and respect, information processing, critical analysis, interaction and collaborative skills. At the end of the unit, students’ perceptions of PA were identified using a specifically-designed voluntary and anonymous selfadministered questionnaire in English. Results: A total of 55 students participated in the study (response rate: 92%). The majority of students reported that their learning (60%), attendance (67%), respect towards group members (70%) and participation in group discussions (71%) improved as a result of PA. Regarding problem analysis skills, most participants believed that PA improved their ability to analyse problems (65%), identify learning needs (64%), fulfil tasks related to the analysis of learning needs (72%) and share knowledge within their group (74%). Lastly, a large proportion of students reported that this form of assessment helped them develop their communication (71%) and self-assessment skills (73%), as well as collaborative abilities (75%). Conclusion: PA was well accepted by the students in this cohort and led to self-reported improvements in learning, skills, attitudes, engagement and other indicators of personal and professional development. PA was also perceived to have a positive impact on intragroup attitudes.



Keywords


Peer Group; Educational Assessment; Self-Assessment; Perception; Medical Students; Problem-Based Learning; Bahrain.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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