Aims Numerous studies have highlighted trainee dissatisfaction with workplace-based assessments (WPBAs), describing them as little more than a “box-ticking” exercise. Indeed use of the word “assessment” promotes a summative, rather than formative, purpose.
It is against this backdrop that in August 2013 changes were made to WPBAs, whose tools were largely renamed supervised learning events (SLEs), and their formative nature emphasised. This study examined whether this change in emphasis has resulted in changes in perceptions of SLEs amongst trainees.
Methods All UK paediatric trainees were invited to complete an online survey [www.surveymonkey.com] via the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health electronic portfolio messaging system. The survey was open for eight weeks from 1 October to 30 November 2015. Reminder messages were sent at weeks three and six to improve response rates. Quantitative analyses of Likert scale ratings were performed using Microsoft® Office Excel 2003. Qualitative analyses of free text responses were performed using NVivo for Mac.
Results 465 trainees consented to take part in the survey. Incomplete survey submissions were excluded from the study leaving 274 trainee responses for analysis. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the range of responses to various statements. 77% of trainees agreed that SLEs were of educational value whilst 86% found the opportunity for face-to-face discussion useful. However 77% of trainees disagreed with the statement that they were easy to organise and this is further emphasised in Table 1 which highlights several problems trainees have with SLEs in their current form. These include difficulties in performing them and that there are too many SLEs to undertake. Worryingly 49% of trainees believe that they are used to assess their performance such that 46% of trainees choose assessors who will provide favourable feedback.
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