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The impact of feedback and personality type upon students’ ability to self-assess skills attributes and aptitudes.

Finn, G. M. and Sawdon, M. (2010) 'The impact of feedback and personality type upon students’ ability to self-assess skills attributes and aptitudes.', Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting 2010. Robinson College, Cambridge, UK, 21-23 Jul 2010.


Background: We demonstrate the phenomenon of ‘incompetent and unaware’ in a real world setting. Summary of work: Medical students (193) participated in a self-assessment exercise, requiring predictions of exam grade in 3 domains; knowledge, skills, and behaviours. The exercise was completed 3 times; immediately after January exams, one week after January exams and immediately after May exams. Feedback on assessment ability was given between January and May. Personality type was correlated with self-assessment ability. Students assessed the Conscientiousness Index (CI) scores of themselves and peers. Summary of results: Failing students over predicted their exam performance. Merit students under assessed performance, and pass students accurately self-assessed. Students’ ability to self-assess was not improved after a week of contemplation. Feedback improved failing students’ ability to self-assess but had no impact upon under-assessing merit students. Students were unable to predict their CI scores, but were able to assess peers’ scores. Ability to self-assess was not related to personality type. Conclusions: Ability to self-assess was consistent across physical skills and cognitive aptitudes, but not attributes (conscientiousness). Take home messages: Failing students can become more self-aware with respect to exam performance if they are given appropriate feedback. Self-awareness is crucial for success; students need more guidance on this.

Item Type:Conference item (Paper)
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Record Created:06 Aug 2010 14:20
Last Modified:06 Apr 2011 14:16

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