Medical Students Views on Continuous Assessment
The importance of assessment in the educational process is well emphasized in medical education. The system of continuous assessment (CA) used in the College of medicine, KKU can be described as frequent summative assessments in each course since there was no regular feedback. The CA adopted carries 50% of the total marks. Achievement of students in CA is critical to their pass or failure of any course. Excessive use of summative assessment was identified as problematic by some research work. But, at the same time a single terminal summative assessment is not recommended. The objective of this study was to examine the students' perception of learning and its relation with performance in CA.
The target population of this study was the 4th, 5th and 6th year students of the college of medicine, KKU. Non-probability convenience sampling was used aiming at 25% - 30% of the total. A correlational design was adopted. A structured self-administered questionnaire was developed. This was based on four constructs: performance on CA: 3 items, feedback: 6 items, students' perception of learning: 12 items and gender.
A 5-point Likert scale was used ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree to the stated statements in the instrument. The questionnaire was validated before use. Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) was computed using SPSS. P value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results and discussion
This is a cross sectional study where correlational design was used. The total number of respondents was 128 with 58% of them males and 42% females. The computed r for the perception of learning with performance in CA was .741 and for feedback with performance in CA was .766. This clearly indicated a significant positive correlation between them. Gender had no significant correlation with performance in CA. Although profound evidence does exist on the positive effect of CA on academic performance and motivation of students, this effect seems to be dependent on how the assessment system is used. In one experimental study, it was found that CA had positive effect on students' academic performance, learning and satisfaction compared to summative assessment. On the other hand, when continuous assessment was done in form of frequent summative assessment, the positive effect was lost and in fact a negative effect was evident.
The respondents viewed their perception of learning and feedback strongly and positively correlated with their performance in CA, while gender had no significant correlation
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