Student response systems and self-reported scores: Do students report their scores accurately?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


Audience response systems (ARSs) like TurningPoint are widely used in higher education and have been integrated into the delivery of anatomy teaching in the MBChB programme at the University of Bristol. During their first year, the MBChB students use an ARS in practical anatomy sessions to complete weekly 10 question (single best answer) formative spot tests and then self-report their scores. These self-reported scores are to visualise the distribution of class marks and gain feedback of their performance relative to their peers. This study assessed the accuracy of these self-reported scores (N = 1724) from one year one MBChB year group (Ń = 239 students) for all spot tests (n = 11) by assessing the discrepancy between self-reported scores and actual scores, as calculated using TurningPoint software. Discrepancies were then characterised as accurate, inaccurate and under-reported, or inaccurate and over-reported. It was hypothesised that due to the formative nature of these assessments, student self-reporting would be accurate and reflective of individual performance. Throughout the study there was an overall trend of students over-reporting spot test scores, with self-reported scores exceeding actual scores (p < 0.001), the magnitude of which correlated with the difficulty of the test (F10 = 18.836; p < 0.001). It is unclear if this trend is conscious, although it is possible that fear of humiliation and/or failure, acknowledged contributors to the 'hidden curriculum', may be a driving factor. However, the data presented suggests that self-reported scores should be interpreted and applied with care. This study was approved by the University of Bristol's University Research Ethics Committee (Health Sciences).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018
EventSummer Meeting of the Anatomical Society - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jul 201825 Aug 2018


ConferenceSummer Meeting of the Anatomical Society
CountryUnited Kingdom

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