ASSESSMENT OF CRITICAL ANALYSIS COMPETENCY IN FIRST YEAR DENTISTRY STUDENTS USING A SELF-EVALUATION TOOL
Critical analysis competency is essential to develop successful life-long learning skills. However, its assessment and evaluation may be complex and it difficult to standardize across the diverse disciplines in health sciences. We are developing a tool to evaluate this ability objectively and standardized for an interdisciplinary learning context in Higher Education.
Students (n=73) underwent a 30 short-assay question test in Philosophy Anthropology subject in first year dentistry course. A week after the examination students were returned a copy of his/her examination paper together with a marking script for each question. Then, the students marked their own paper in accordance to the script and the lecture notes and were required to provide a numerical mark within the 0-to-10 point range. Data collected were compared with the marks given by the lecturer in charge of the subject to identify (1) the correlation and (2) clustering of the self-evaluation marking.
Results and Discussion:
Poor correlation (r2 = 0.1353) was observed between the student's marks and the real marks, suggesting deficient critical analysis competency (somehow not unexpected in first semester in first year students). In addition, we observed a large number of students (26%) giving a score much higher than the real mark (region above-left of identity line) and a second cluster of students (15%) giving marks lower than the real marks, located in the top-right region, but below the identity line. This suggests two different approaches to critical analysis: the students in the first cluster overvalue their answers and avoid the negative evaluation. The second group of students penalizes itself giving lower than real marks, eventhough their real marks are very high. Lastly, there is a "precision band" with the majority of students (59%) who deviate less (around 25%) from the real mark and are close to the identity line.
This tool was able to identify two differentiated clusters of students lacking objective critical analysis ability to assess their own work. The validation of this tool may open new ways to evaluated and compare cross-sectional competences, identify deficiencies in the curriculum delivery/design and areas of possible intervention to correct them, including the student reflective learning capacity.