Multiple feedback sources in learning clinical history-taking skills: Developing evaluative judgement




evaluative judgement, self-assessment, feedback, medical history taking


Introduction: Contemporary feedback models emphasise the value of multiple feedback opportunities. Effective feedback participation requires evaluative judgement—the ability to discern the quality of one’s own and others’ work. Self and peer assessment may enable repeated practice and feedback for developing evaluative judgement. However, attitudes to self and peer assessment may present a barrier to effective implementation. This study explored whether congruence between marks from self and peer assessment improved with assessment task participation. Participants’ attitudes towards self and peer assessment and approaches to learning were also evaluated.

Methods: Participants undertook simulated history-taking tasks in semester 2, 2018. Group 1 undertook formative and summative assessments and participated in self and peer assessment . Group 2 undertook formative and summative assessment. Group 3 undertook only summative assessment. All groups received faculty feedback for each submitted assessment. Participants completed the modified Study Process Questionnaire (mSPQ) and the Peer Perception of Assessment (PPA) before (T1) and after the formative task (T2) and after the summative task (T3).

Results: Summative task scores improved for group 1 (n = 9, p < 0.01) and group 2 (n = 26, p < 0.01). Within-group (p = 0.02) and between-group differences (p = 0.01) were identified for surface learning approaches. All groups’ perceptions of peer assessment decreased significantly (p < 0.01) across all three time periods.

Conclusions: Participants receiving self and peer assessment and faculty feedback improved performance and increased congruence of their self- and peer-assessment marks, potentially developing their evaluative judgment skills. Peer assessment perception became less positive, while surface learning approaches increased. Future research should assess the role of self and peer assessment in developing evaluative judgment.

Author Biographies

Kylie Fitzgerald, RMIT University

Clinical Educator 

Discipline of Osteopathy

School of Health and Biomedical Sciences

Brett Vaughan, University of Melbourne

Lecturer, Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Joanna Hong-Meng Tai, Deakin University

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia


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How to Cite

Fitzgerald, K., Vaughan, B., & Tai, J. H.-M. (2021). Multiple feedback sources in learning clinical history-taking skills: Developing evaluative judgement. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 22(3), 33–50.