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Postgraduate students’ perceptions of what makes for effective assessment feedback: a case study of a clinical masters course
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  1. Sofia Hadjieconomou1,
  2. Michal Tombs2
  1. 1Prince of Wales Hospital, Bridgend Local Health Board, Port Talbot, UK
  2. 2Centre for Medical Education, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Michal Tombs Neuadd Meirionnydd, Heath Park, C4ME, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4Y, UK; TombsM2{at}cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine postgraduate students’ perceptions of assessment feedback. Using the Critical Incident Technique, students enrolled on a taught clinical course were asked for their perceptions of effective and ineffective examples of assessment feedback. The data were analysed using thematic analysis and nine themes emerged that capture perceptions associated with feedback content and feedback process. Students perceived effective feedback if it was specific and clear, using positive tone of language. They expressed a preference for feedback that is delivered in a standardised format, reflecting the grades given, individualised, and when the marking criteria is explicit and enables dialogue with the marker. Students perceived feedback to be ineffective when it focused on grammatical errors rather than content, when it was provided by anonymous graders and if it was too personal. Timeliness of feedback was also important to participants. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are highlighted in this paper.

  • Medical education & training
  • education & training (see medical education & training)
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Footnotes

  • Twitter Michal Tombs @MichalTombskatz.

  • Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution made by Dr Hamish Cox, University of South Wales, as part of the data analysis.

  • Contributors SH—substantially contributed to the research concept and design, acquired the data and analysed and interpreted it, critically reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content, and has agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. MT—substantially contributed to the research concept and design, drafted the manuscript and approved its final publication, and has agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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