Radiography students’ experiences of practical evaluations at University of Namibia

Elizabeth N Hishiti, Mondjila Amkongo, Abel Karera

Abstract


Background.  Student progress in the acquisition of clinical competences during clinical placements is checked using a variety of assessments. Evaluating students in a clinical setting is an indispensable portion of the overall learning progression. Such evaluations provide students with objective updates on their progression. When multiple evaluators assess students, it raises the issue of interrater reliability where different personalities interpret evaluation criteria differently, and have different expectations of students’ clinical performance. Radiography students at the University of Namibia (UNAM) are assessed by different assessors. This could create irregularities and inconsistency in grading and could lead to failure.

Objective.  To explore the experiences of UNAM radiography students regarding practical evaluations.

Methods.  A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive research design was utilised. The sample consisted of first, second, and third year radiography students at UNAM. Three focused group discussions were conducted for data collection. 

Findings.  Three themes and 10 sub-themes were identified. The three themes were: participants experienced operational challenges during practical evaluations; participants experienced unprofessionalism among clinical instructors; and participants experienced positive experience during practical evaluations. 

Conclusion.  The participants experienced a number of challenges, which affected their performance, during their practical evaluations. Unprofessional behaviour by evaluators was one of the common experiences of the participants resulting in reduced objectivity of their evaluations. Nevertheless, the results show that there were some positive experiences from the evaluation exercise as participants could learn and improved their skills in line with their performance. Based on the findings it is recommended that proper planning and standardisation of practical evaluations should be implemented to improve their objectivity.


Keywords


clinical competence, radiography, Tesch

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The South African Radiographer | ISSN 0258 0241

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License