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      Students’ perceptions on feedback module in pharmacology

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          Feedback is an integral part of formative assessment though underutilized in medical education. The objective of this study was to review our feedback module through students’ perceptions.


          We have developed a feedback module which is practiced by us for last 10 years for term ending examination that gives collective feedback to the whole class, followed by individual student-teacher interactions. Students were also exposed to 6–7 multiple choice questions (MCQs) based assessment during the course of pharmacology. Immediately after each MCQ test the answer keys is displayed along with an explanation. Two classes of students were requested to give their perceptions about the feedback by responding on Likert scale for the statements in the questionnaire. All the 206 students who volunteered for the study were enrolled in the study. Mann–Whitney test was used to calculate the difference in perceptions.


          Of 278 students of two classes, 206 responded (74%). Students’ agreement varied from 93% to 98% for 5 items in the questionnaire for the feedback after term ending examinations. Perception of students attending one or more than one feedback session did not differ significantly. For MCQs, tests agreement was 91% to 98% for the 4 items. There was no significant difference between two classes in their perceptions regarding feedback practices ( P < 0.05).


          Students gave a favorable opinion for our feedback module. In the medical colleges with a large number of students, this module is feasible for feedback in formative assessment in the form of written tests.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Assessment in medical education.

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            Workplace-based assessment as an educational tool: AMEE Guide No. 31.

            There has been concern that trainees are seldom observed, assessed, and given feedback during their workplace-based education. This has led to an increasing interest in a variety of formative assessment methods that require observation and offer the opportunity for feedback. To review some of the literature on the efficacy and prevalence of formative feedback, describe the common formative assessment methods, characterize the nature of feedback, examine the effect of faculty development on its quality, and summarize the challenges still faced. The research literature on formative assessment and feedback suggests that it is a powerful means for changing the behaviour of trainees. Several methods for assessing it have been developed and there is preliminary evidence of their reliability and validity. A variety of factors enhance the efficacy of workplace-based assessment including the provision of feedback that is consistent with the needs of the learner and focused on important aspects of the performance. Faculty plays a critical role and successful implementation requires that they receive training. There is a need for formative assessment which offers trainees the opportunity for feedback. Several good methods exist and feedback has been shown to have a major influence on learning. The critical role of faculty is highlighted, as is the need for strategies to enhance their participation and training.
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              Explicit feedback to enhance the effect of an interim assessment: a cross-over study on learning effect and gender difference

              In a previous study we demonstrated by a prospective controlled design that an interim assessment during an ongoing small group work (SGW) session resulted in a higher score in the course examination. As this reflects the so-called testing effect, which is supposed to be enhanced by feedback, we investigated whether feedback following an interim assessment would have an effect on the score of the course exam, and whether the effect is influenced by the gender of the student. During a General Pathology bachelor course all 386 (bio) medical students took an interim assessment on the topics cell damage (first week) and tumour pathology (fourth week). The intervention consisted of immediate detailed oral feedback on the content of the questions of the interim assessment by the tutor, including the rationale of the correct and incorrect answers. It concerned a prospective randomized study using a cross-over design. Outcome measures were: (1) the difference in the normalized scores (1–10) of the course examination multiple choice questions related to the two topics, (2) effect of gender, and (3) gender-specific scores on formal examination. The effect of feedback was estimated as half the difference in the outcome between the two conditions. Mixed-model analysis was used whereby the SGW group was taken as the study target. The scores of the questions on cell damage amounted to 7.70 (SD 1.59) in the group without and 7.78 (SD 1.39) in the group with feedback, and 6.73 (SD 1.51) and 6.77 (SD 1.60), respectively, for those on tumour pathology. No statistically significant effect of feedback was found: 0.02 on a scale of 1–10 (95 % CI: −0.20; 0.25). There were no significant interactions of feedback with gender. Female students scored 0.43 points higher on the formal examination in comparison with their male colleagues. No additional effect of immediate explicit feedback following an interim assessment during an SGW session in an ongoing bachelor course could be demonstrated in this prospective randomized controlled study. Gender analysis revealed a higher performance of female students on the formal examination, which could not be explained by the effect of feedback in the current study. In this particular learning environment, SGW, explicit feedback may have little added value to the interactive learning that includes implicit feedback.

                Author and article information

                Department of Pharmacology, NHLMMC, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Devang A. Rana, Department of Pharmacology, NHLMMC, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. E-mail: devangandu@
                J Educ Health Promot
                J Educ Health Promot
                Journal of Education and Health Promotion
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                23 June 2016
                : 5
                27500170 4960763 JEHP-5-17 10.4103/2277-9531.184562
                Copyright: © Journal of Education and Health Promotion

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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