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Fostering dental students' academic achievements and reflection skills through clinical peer assessment and feedback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-923
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume80
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

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Abstract

Peer assessment is increasingly being encouraged to enhance dental students' learning. The aim of this study was to evaluate the educational impact in terms of academic achievements and reflective thinking of a formative prospective peer assessment and feedback protocol. Volunteer final-year dental students at King's College London Dental Institute, UK, received training on peer assessment, peer feedback, and self-reflection. At the beginning (baseline) and end (resultant) of the 2012-13 academic year, 86 students (55% of the year group) completed a reflection questionnaire (RQ). Sixty-eight of those students used a modified Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) as a framework for peer assessment and peer feedback during a complete academic year. End-of-year, high-stakes examination grades and RQ scores from the participants and nonparticipants were statistically compared. The participants completed 576 peer DOPS. Those 22 students who peer assessed each other ≥10 times exhibited highly statistically significant differences and powerful positive effect sizes in their high-stakes exam grades (p=0.0001, d=0.74) and critical reflection skills (p=0.005, d=1.41) when compared to those who did not assess one another. Furthermore, only the same 22 students showed a statistically significant increase and positive effect size in their critical reflection skills from baseline to resultant (p=0.003, d=1.04). The results of this study suggest that the protocol used has the potential to impact dental students' academic and reflection skills, provided it is practiced in ten or more peer encounters and ensuring peer feedback is provided followed by self-reflection.

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