Medical / Technology / Education feed
A qualitative exploration of student perceptions of the impact of progress tests on learning and emotional wellbeing: Progress testing was introduced to the MBChB programme at the University of Auckland in 2013. As there has been a focus in published literature on aspects relating to the format or function of progress tests, the purpose of this study was to explore a qualitative student perspective on the introduction of progress testing and its impact on approaches to learning and perceived stress. This article presents the qualitative aspects of a longitudinal evaluation study. The qualitative data were derived from eight focus groups of Year 2–5 medical students in the University of Auckland medical programme. Two themes, ‘Impact on Learning’ and ‘Emotional Wellbeing’ and their subthemes offered insight into student perceptions and behaviour. Students described a variety of learning responses to progress testing that clustered around the employment of a range of learning strategies based on their experience of sitting progress tests and their individualised feedback. A range of emotional responses were also expressed, with some finding progress tests stressful, while others enjoyed not needing to intensively cram before the tests. Progress tests appear to influence the approach of students to their learning. They employ a mix of learning strategies, shaped by their performance, individualised feedback and the learning environment. While students expressed some stress and anxiety with respect to sitting progress tests, this form of testing was viewed by these students as no worse, and sometimes better than traditional assessments. Jill Yielder. Andy Wearn. Yan Chen. Marcus A. Henning. Jennifer Weller. Steven Lillis. Vernon Mogol. Warwick Bagg. BMC Medical Education.