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Table of Contents
VIEWPOINT
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 282-283

Critiquing the scope and utility of mini-peer assessment tool in the training of medical students


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission31-May-2021
Date of Decision30-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance11-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication23-Feb-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajim.ajim_55_21

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  Abstract 


In the global vision to promote, safeguard, and maintain the health and safety of the general population and to meet the recommended standards of quality of healthcare offered, it is a must to assess the performance of medical students during their period of training. In the conventional form of medical education, assessment has predominantly been quantitative with teachers being the main stakeholder to carry out an assessment. In addition, personal views and opinion of peers or other stakeholders have also not been given due importance. However, the findings of studies have indicated that the use of mini-peer assessment tool (PAT) has played a significant role in improving the performance of students. In conclusion, the use of peers as assessors is an effective form of teaching–learning and assessment in the field of medical education. Even though there can be some extent of reluctance on the part of students, it is advisable to advocate and implement the use of mini-PAT in the training period.

Keywords: Medical education, mini-peer assessment tool, work place-based assessment


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Critiquing the scope and utility of mini-peer assessment tool in the training of medical students. APIK J Int Med 2022;10:282-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Critiquing the scope and utility of mini-peer assessment tool in the training of medical students. APIK J Int Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 4];10:282-3. Available from: https://www.ajim.in/text.asp?2022/10/4/282/338149




  Introduction Top


In the global vision to promote, safeguard, and maintain the health and safety of the general population and to meet the recommended standards of quality of healthcare offered, it is a must to assess the performance of medical students during their period of training. The process of periodic or daily informal assessment not only inculcates good clinical and professional skills among the students but also ensures that iatrogenic errors can be significantly minimized in the long run. However, with the progression of time, it has been realized that apart from assessing the knowledge domain, it is of utmost importance to supervise the performance of medical students in the workplace itself. This has led to the employment of workplace-based assessment tools which have not only neutralized the limited of conventional assessment tools but have also made the assessments valid and reliable.[1],[2]


  Understanding the Lacunae in Assessment Top


In the conventional form of medical education, assessment has predominantly been quantitative with teachers being the main stakeholder to carry out an assessment. Further, the role of qualitative component in assessment has been widely ignored and all importance has been given to tangible scientific evidence.[1],[3] In addition, personal views and opinion of peers or other stakeholders (such as nursing staffs, patients, and relatives) have also not been given due importance. However, the findings of studies have indicated that based on the feedback received from different stakeholders, including peers, the trainee students have been immensely benefited.[1],[2]


  Mini-Peer Assessment Tool Top


Acknowledging these findings, mini-peer assessment tool (mini-PAT) has been employed as an assessment tool to provide formal feedback to the students and thereby improve performance and inculcate positive behavior change.[3] This mini-PAT tool can be considered as a part of multisource feedback, wherein different stakeholders share their opinion in a formal manner about the performance of the students.[4] The mini-PAT tool enables assessment of clinical competence, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and professionalism, which is much more than an assessment of mere cognitive domain.[3]


  Implementation Top


As a part of using the tool, the trainee students are asked to suggest well in advance the names of peer who will act as assessors for their performance. All these peers observe the performance of the students and then record their comments and share the same with the trainee students in an anonymous manner.[3],[5] The tool uses a global scoring system and has a provision for the raters to share their remarks as well.[1],[4] The peers identify the strengths and weaknesses and also record their remarks on the areas, which need to be given more attention by means of a development of an agreed action plan.[5] As a part of the implementation of competency-based medical education for all the postgraduation courses, in both the constituent colleges of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry, viz., Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, templates have been developed to assess the postgraduate students as a part of multisource feedback.


  Potential Challenges and Proposed Solutions Top


Even though mini-PAT has multiple merits linked to it, the problem of selection of favorable peers or reluctance on the part of students to get assessed by their peers cannot be ruled out, especially if in an earlier interaction they have received a negative feedback.[4],[6] As far as the selection of peers is concerned, specific guidelines can be formulated by the teachers so that selection bias can be averted and assessment can be done in a credible manner.[3],[4],[5] The students can be motivated about the use of the tool for ensuring holistic improvement and the merit of the process can be explained to them. All the students can be counseled to take the remarks on a positive note and use the same for improvement, and the entire process can be developed as a culture in the departments.[3],[4],[5],[6]


  Conclusion Top


The use of peers as assessors is an effective form of teaching–learning and assessment in the field of medical education. Even though there can be some extent of reluctance on the part of students, it is advisable to advocate and implement the use of mini-PAT in the training period.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Norcini J, Burch V. Workplace-based assessment as an educational tool: AMEE Guide No. 31. Med Teach 2007;29:855-71.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Utilization of work place-based assessment tools in medical education: Potential challenges and solutions. Res Dev Med Educ 2020;9:8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Abdulla A. A critical analysis of mini peer assessment tool (mini-PAT). J R Soc Med 2008;101:22-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Salmon G, Pugsley L. The mini-PAT as a multi-source feedback tool for trainees in child and adolescent psychiatry: Assessing whether it is fit for purpose. BJPsych Bull 2017;41:115-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Archer J, Norcini J, Southgate L, Heard S, Davies H. Mini-PAT (Peer Assessment Tool): A valid component of a national assessment programme in the UK? Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2008;13:181-92.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Henry D, West DC. The clinical learning environment and workplace-based assessment: Frameworks, strategies, and implementation. Pediatr Clin North Am 2019;66:839-54.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Understanding th...
Mini-Peer Assess...
Implementation
Potential Challe...
Conclusion
References

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