Maximizing Participation in Peer Assessment of Professionalism: The Students Speak

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Abstract

Background

Medical students have unique information about peers’ professionalism but are reluctant to share it through peer assessment.

Method

Students (231 of 375; 62%) in one school replied to a survey about whether various characteristics of peer assessment (e.g., who receives the assessment, its anonymity, implications for the classmate) would prevent or encourage their participation.

Results

Sixty-six percent of the students agreed that there should be peer assessment of professionalism as long as the assessment reflected their preferences for how the assessment should take place. Some of their preferences included reporting unprofessional behavior to an impartial counselor, a 100% anonymous process, and having the classmate receive corrective instruction. Students across year levels generally agreed about the characteristics of peer assessment. Men and women disagreed about some characteristics.

Conclusion

Most students are willing to participate in peer assessment as long as their preferences are taken into consideration.

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