The mechanism of impact of summative assessment on medical students' learning
Advances in Health Sciences Education
Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa; University of Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands
It has become axiomatic that assessment impacts powerfully on student learning, but there is a surprising dearth of research on how. This study explored the mechanism of impact of summative assessment on the process of learning of theory in higher education. Individual, in-depth interviews were conducted with medical students and analyzed qualitatively. The impact of assessment on learning was mediated through various determinants of action. Respondents' learning behaviour was influenced by: appraising the impact of assessment; appraising their learning response; their perceptions of agency; and contextual factors. This study adds to scant extant evidence and proposes a mechanism to explain this impact. It should help enhance the use of assessment as a tool to augment learning. © 2010 The Author(s).
article; cognition; education; educational model; educational status; female; human; learning; male; medical education; medical student; methodology; motivation; self concept; teaching; Cognition; Education, Medical; Educational Measurement; Educational Status; Female; Humans; Learning; Male; Models, Educational; Motivation; Self Concept; Self Efficacy; Students, Medical; Teaching