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Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review

Sebastiaan Koole UGent, Tim Dornan, Leen Aper UGent, Albert Scherpbier, Martin Valcke UGent, Janke Cohen-Schotanus and Anselme Derese UGent (2011) BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION. 11.
abstract
Background: Reflection on experience is an increasingly critical part of professional development and lifelong learning. There is, however, continuing uncertainty about how best to put principle into practice, particularly as regards assessment. This article explores those uncertainties in order to find practical ways of assessing reflection. Discussion: We critically review four problems: 1. Inconsistent definitions of reflection; 2. Lack of standards to determine (in) adequate reflection; 3. Factors that complicate assessment; 4. Internal and external contextual factors affecting the assessment of reflection. Summary: To address the problem of inconsistency, we identified processes that were common to a number of widely quoted theories and synthesised a model, which yielded six indicators that could be used in assessment instruments. We arrived at the conclusion that, until further progress has been made in defining standards, assessment must depend on developing and communicating local consensus between stakeholders (students, practitioners, teachers, supervisors, curriculum developers) about what is expected in exercises and formal tests. Major factors that complicate assessment are the subjective nature of reflection's content and the dependency on descriptions by persons being assessed about their reflection process, without any objective means of verification. To counter these validity threats, we suggest that assessment should focus on generic process skills rather than the subjective content of reflection and where possible to consider objective information about the triggering situation to verify described reflections. Finally, internal and external contextual factors such as motivation, instruction, character of assessment (formative or summative) and the ability of individual learning environments to stimulate reflection should be considered.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (review)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
review, confounding factors, reflection model, health sciences education, reflection, assessment
journal title
BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION
BMC Med Educ
volume
11
article_number
104
pages
9 pages
Web of Science type
Review
Web of Science id
000300156200001
JCR category
EDUCATION & EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
JCR impact factor
1.152 (2011)
JCR rank
46/203 (2011)
JCR quartile
1 (2011)
ISSN
1472-6920
DOI
10.1186/1472-6920-11-104
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
2054147
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2054147
date created
2012-03-01 10:18:57
date last changed
2015-06-17 09:58:58
@article{2054147,
  abstract     = {Background: Reflection on experience is an increasingly critical part of professional development and lifelong learning. There is, however, continuing uncertainty about how best to put principle into practice, particularly as regards assessment. This article explores those uncertainties in order to find practical ways of assessing reflection.
Discussion: We critically review four problems: 1. Inconsistent definitions of reflection; 2. Lack of standards to determine (in) adequate reflection; 3. Factors that complicate assessment; 4. Internal and external contextual factors affecting the assessment of reflection.
Summary: To address the problem of inconsistency, we identified processes that were common to a number of widely quoted theories and synthesised a model, which yielded six indicators that could be used in assessment instruments. We arrived at the conclusion that, until further progress has been made in defining standards, assessment must depend on developing and communicating local consensus between stakeholders (students, practitioners, teachers, supervisors, curriculum developers) about what is expected in exercises and formal tests. Major factors that complicate assessment are the subjective nature of reflection's content and the dependency on descriptions by persons being assessed about their reflection process, without any objective means of verification. To counter these validity threats, we suggest that assessment should focus on generic process skills rather than the subjective content of reflection and where possible to consider objective information about the triggering situation to verify described reflections. Finally, internal and external contextual factors such as motivation, instruction, character of assessment (formative or summative) and the ability of individual learning environments to stimulate reflection should be considered.},
  articleno    = {104},
  author       = {Koole, Sebastiaan and Dornan, Tim and Aper, Leen and Scherpbier, Albert and Valcke, Martin and Cohen-Schotanus, Janke and Derese, Anselme},
  issn         = {1472-6920},
  journal      = {BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION},
  keyword      = {review,confounding factors,reflection model,health sciences education,reflection,assessment},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {9},
  title        = {Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-11-104},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Koole, Sebastiaan, Tim Dornan, Leen Aper, Albert Scherpbier, Martin Valcke, Janke Cohen-Schotanus, and Anselme Derese. 2011. “Factors Confounding the Assessment of Reflection: a Critical Review.” Bmc Medical Education 11.
APA
Koole, S., Dornan, T., Aper, L., Scherpbier, A., Valcke, M., Cohen-Schotanus, J., & Derese, A. (2011). Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review. BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION, 11.
Vancouver
1.
Koole S, Dornan T, Aper L, Scherpbier A, Valcke M, Cohen-Schotanus J, et al. Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review. BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION. 2011;11.
MLA
Koole, Sebastiaan, Tim Dornan, Leen Aper, et al. “Factors Confounding the Assessment of Reflection: a Critical Review.” BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION 11 (2011): n. pag. Print.