Making Summative Assessment Effective
AbstractThe University of Zambia, School of Medicine is the first public health institution in Zambia after Independence in 1964. Its focus has been on provision of quality education with excellence from one of its core values. During the course of the focus of this study high examination attrition rates and low students Grade Point Average (GPA) among undergraduate programmes were observed. This study investigated the views of academic staff and students on the role of feedback in assessment processes among undergraduate students trained at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. Both qualitative and quantitative methods approaches were employed to investigate the above mentioned issues. The design used for data collection was an exploratory sequential research design. Two sets of instruments were used to collect data. These were an evaluation survey instrument on the teaching and learning of undergraduate programmes in the School of Medicine and document analysis. The data collected from this set were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The second set were a students’ Focus Group Discussion schedule and an in-depth interview schedule for key informants regarding the GPA and examination attritions. The data collected from the second set were analysed using constant comparative method. The study revealed that certain factors contributed to low GPA and high examination attrition rates in the School of Medicine. The results showed that there was lack of timely feedback (52.2%) with standard deviation of 1.13 and, where it was done, only 52% provided guiding comments with standard deviation 1.11. The results showed there was significant statistical difference in timely feedback (p = 0.000, F = 4, 598, df = 18.428), detailed feedback (p = 0.000, F = 4, 595, df = 16.037) and scope of assessment (p = .000, F = 4, 596, df = 24. 172). In conclusion, the study showed that the low students’ GPA and high examination attrition rates at the Medical School of the University of Zambia were due to improper assessment processes. In view of these findings, the study recommends that there is need for timely feedback given to students on time and that such feedback should be detailed. In addition, the study further recommends that the School of Medicine using the Medical Education and Development Department should consider organizing specific pedagogical training programmes for existing and newly employed academic staff.Key words: assessment, feedback, timely feedback, detailed and helpful feedback
Copyright (c) 2021 Harrison Daka, Mukuka Lydia Mulenga-Hagane, Mwansa Mukalula-Kalumbi, Sibeso Lisulo
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