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Table 3 Advantages of peer-tutors as assessors in the OSCE: Categories used to code the content of qualitative data (peer-assessors n = 74, peer-assesses n = 307)

From: Peers as OSCE assessors for junior medical students – a review of routine use: a mixed methods study

 Peer assessorsPeer-assessed
CategorySubcategoryCode /descriptionSubcategoryCode /description
For AALplu (in general)Reduction of costs- Peer assessors are cheaper than trained doctors/professionals.Reduction of costs- Peer assessors are cheaper than trained doctors/professionals.
- Peer assessors are available in high numbers.
- Peer assessors support doctors/professionals (economy of time)
- Relaxed atmosphere increases the efficiency of the OSCE.
Quality control- Peer assessors as OSCE assessors learn which teaching and learning material can be adjusted because they have previously taught the students.Quality control
Quality improvement- Peer assessors receive more training in teaching and giving feedback than the average academic lecturer.
- Peer assessors know exactly what was taught in the programme because they teach it. As a result, they are much more attuned to student expectations (e.g. OSCE checklists).
- Peer assessors have better knowledge of the curriculum and content of AaLplus.
- Peer assessors can more easily estimate a student’s level of knowledge.
- Peer assessors do know how to answer student’s questions better.
Quality improvement- Peer assessors receive more training in the perfect physical examination than the average academic lecturer.
- Peer assessors know what has been previously taught in the programme.
- Peer assessors may be more interested in keeping the OSCE and the programme up to date.
- Learning is more important than the examination.
Peer assessors are up-to-date and refer to current standards.
For peer assessors:Benefits for own studies- By assuming an assessor’s point of view, peer assessors prepare and train for their own future OSCEs/examinations.
- Peer assessors receive a sense of transparency regarding their own OSCEs.
Benefits for own studies
Improvement of feedback skills- Peer assessors gain experience in giving structured feedback.
- Peer assessors improve their skills in giving feedback.
- Peer assessors learn how to structure and give feedback properly.
Improvement of feedback skills
Personal benefits- Peer assessors are enabled to take responsibility.Personal benefits- Peer assessors improve their social skills.
Improvement of clinical skills- While testing the student, peer assessors reinforce their own skills (e.g. physical examination of the heart and lungs).Improvement of clinical skills- While testing the student, peer assessors reinforce their own skills (e.g. physical examination of the heart and lungs).
Improvement of teaching skills- Peer assessors receive feedback themselves about their general performance as a teacher during the previous 2 years.Improvement of teaching skills- Peer assessors improve their competencies as an assessor.
For peer-assessed:High-quality feedback- Students accept peer assessors’ feedback more easily since they are at eye level.
- Students receive feedback from the peer assessors who have previously trained them.
- Students receive better feedback from peer assessors because they are more mindful of the students’ situations and perspectives.
- Peer assessors take more time while giving feedback.
- Peer assessors are more open to student questions.
- Peer assessors can give better recommendations.
High-quality feedback- Students accept peer assessors’ feedback more easily since they are at eye level.
- Students take peer assessors’ feedback more seriously.
- Students receive a better feedback from peer assessors because they are more mindful of the students’ situations and perspectives.
- Peer assessors are more open to student questions.
- Peer assessors can give better recommendations because they better understand why a student is making mistakes.
- Peer assessors focus more on the student while giving feedback (student-focused feedback).
- Students find it easier to ask questions about the feedback.
- Peer assessors have better knowledge of students’ perspectives and feelings.
- Peer assessors know the pitfalls regarding the learning content.
For peer-assessed:Additional valuable information- Peer assessors provide valuable information on further OSCEs.
- Peer assessors inform about the typical OSCE pitfalls from a student perspective.
Additional valuable information- Peer assessors provide more valuable and more helpful recommendations.
- Peer assessors can remove fears of failure, both on the OSCE and in medical studies.
Peer assessors give feedback for future OSCEs and for medical studies.
Stress reduction- Students show lower levels of stress when tested by peer assessors in general.
- Peer assessors are more trustworthy.
- Students have a reduced inhibition threshold to share information.
- Peer assessors can remove apprehensions
Stress reduction- Students show lower levels of stress when tested by peer assessors in general.
- Students have a reduced inhibition threshold to share information.
- Students can focus on the exam more easily with less distraction by lecturers.
Comfortable atmosphereThere is a flatter hierarchy.
- Students feel more comfortable if tested by peers.
- Students accept peer assessors’ feedback more easily in a comfortable atmosphere.
Comfortable atmosphere- Peer assessors establish a comfortable atmosphere.
- Comfortable because of same eye level
- Comfortable atmosphere results in fun while learning.
- Peer assessors behave more cooperatively.
- Peer assessors have better access to students.
- Personal relationships result in fun while learning.
AppreciationAppreciation- Peer assessors are more focused and are not bored during the examination.
Knowledge gain during the OSCE- Peer assessors create a learning atmosphere in the OSCE.
- Students feel free to ask assessors for adjustments and, as a result, better understand their personal performance
Knowledge gain during the OSCE