Balancing Reflection and Validity in Health Profession Students‘ Self-Assessment
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Students and practitioners in self-regulating health professions are expected to engage in reflective, valid self-assessment activities. However, self-assessment processes can be flawed. People may have a limited understanding of the critical thinking needed to reflect on their performance and they may over-estimate or under-estimate their abilities. This article highlights educational approaches that can help students achieve a balance of reflecting critically and developing more accurate self-assessments. Considerations involved in defining self-assessment are identified. Explanations of how integrating reflection requires critical thinking; information from both internal and external sources; and incidental learning are provided. Suggestions for addressing validity by recognizing that inaccuracies exist; knowing that people‘s history with academic success can impact their self-assessments; and creating links to affective outcomes are offered. Emphasis is placed on viewing self-assessment as a formative learning activity that is introduced early and consistently in health education programs.
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