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Student Use and Perceptions of Embedded Formative Assessments in a Basic Science Veterinary Program.

  • Baker, Lewis A1
  • Dynatra Subasinghe, Dona Wilani2
  • 1 University of Surrey, England UK.
  • 2 School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, England UK.
Published Article
Journal of veterinary medical education
Publication Date
May 25, 2023
DOI: 10.3138/jvme-2023-0011
PMID: 37229550


This work describes the implementation of online timed closed-book formative assessments across several modules of a first-year undergraduate veterinary program. This process does not require significant time investment since it can be implemented into existing programs of study. Students were surveyed on how they used these formative assessments for learning and overall, were overwhelmingly positive about the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on their performance. Quantitative statistics on preferences as well as qualitative thematic analysis of open free-text questions reveal clear preferences in how they choose to engage with the assessments for learning, as well as how they prefer assessments to be administered. Students were positive about the online nature of the exams and prefer formative assessments to be distributed across the teaching semesters without any time restrictions, allowing them to be completed as and when they choose. Immediate feedback in the form of model answers is the students' preference, although some value signposting to relevant resources for further research. Furthermore, students report that they want more questions and tests to complement their learning, and overwhelming rely on guided and structured activities for learning and revision which will need to be balanced with opportunities to develop critical thinking and independent learning skills when studying in a professional course, given students are not likely to default into such behavior. This work models a process many curriculum designers have, and continue to undergo in higher education as online, hybrid, and blended approaches to teaching have received renewed interest.

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