Radiography Student Preferences Regarding Assessments and Feedback
Introduction: Assessment and feedback are important aspects of higher education. In allied health degrees, including radiography, the successful completion of assessments demonstrates that a graduate meets accreditation standards for clinical practice. Feedback within a degree program provides critical information to students on their attainment of these skills. Using a framework of discourse, emotion and identity, this study investigated the preferences of radiography students regarding the assessments and feedback they experienced during their degree program at an Australian university.
Method: A survey was administered to all radiography students. Students were asked to rank the assessment tasks and feedback they experienced during their degree program according to what they liked most and learned the most from. Final-year students were asked an additional question about their perceived readiness to meet professional standards.
Results: The survey was completed by 129/264 (48.9%) students. The assessment most liked by students was computer-based image analysis (mean 4.99/6.00) while practical assessment was ranked as the assessment that they learned the most from (mean 4.12/6.00). These types of assessments are strongly related to professional identity. Feedback preferences differed depending on the setting—detailed written comments were most preferred on campus (mean 4.88/6.00) while individual verbal feedback was most preferred in the clinical context (mean 4.54/6.00). Discourse is an important aspect of these types of feedback. Final-year students gave positive ratings of their preparedness to meet professional standards.
Conclusion: Our findings provide a greater understanding of radiography student preferences in assessment and feedback, which can guide future curriculum design. Students valued and preferred assessments that related to professional identity and real-life radiography skills. Students’ preferred form of feedback was dependent upon the learning environment.
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