Peer assessment is used by health care professionals as a way to share knowledge and evaluate the performance of colleagues. Peer assessment is used widely in medical education as a preparatory tool for students, but peer assessment research in athletic training education is lacking. Athletic trainers are healthcare providers with a similar skill-set to physicians, thus, athletic training education can benefit from the use of peer assessment. Athletic training educators need to research the use of peer assessment as an evaluation tool in order to better prepare students to practice as healthcare professionals. This study investigated the accuracy and reliability of undergraduate athletic training students in their ability to assess their peers. This quasi-experimental study used between-group and within-group designs to answer the research questions. Junior-level students, senior-level students, and their instructors were enrolled as participants. Each student group’s ratings of clinical skills and professional behaviors were compared to instructor ratings to measure accuracy, and each student group’s ratings were compared for reliability. Cohen’s kappa coefficient measured inter-rater agreement for all statistical analyses. Both groups of students were accurate raters (p < .05) of their peers on clinical skills, but only the senior-level students were accurate in rating professional behaviors. Both groups of students were reliable in rating their peers on about half of the clinical skills. The senior-level students were also reliable in evaluating professional behaviors, but the junior-level students were not. The data for this study showed high levels of observed agreement for most clinical skills, subscales and the professional behaviors, but some items had low Cohen’s kappa values, most likely due to a known paradox that occurs with the kappa statistic. As the first study in athletic training education to use undergraduate students, live data collection, and rating of professional behaviors, the findings were promising for future research. Future research needs to include training in peer assessment, use of repeated measures, and comparison of instructor scores in order to better understand peer assessment in this population. Additionally, there is a need to establish consistent, quality measures in peer assessment research, including those used in athletic training education.
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, Kinesiology, Health education|
|Keywords:||Athletic training students, Peer assessment, Professional behavior, Undergraduate|
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