The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Assessing sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education: Square peg in a round hole?

Assessing sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education: Square peg in a round hole?
Assessing sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education: Square peg in a round hole?
Background: Attention has turned in recent years to the broader inclusion of sociology and psychology in medical curricula. Despite this, there is limited published evidence about how best to assess these subjects. This lack of evidence is significant given that most medical schools are likely to include some form of assessment of sociology and psychology, and that sociology and psychology are included in areas examined in admissions tests and in licensing exams.

Methods: We ran three one day workshops in the UK (London, Edinburgh and Manchester, June – July 2019), to consult with educators involved in sociology and psychology teaching in medicine on: what methods are being used to assess sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education, and the challenges and opportunities experienced. 36 participants attended the workshops, representing 19 of the 33 UK medical schools. Following the workshops, we collated the notes and presentations in order to develop a summary of current assessment practices and synthesis of the main themes identified.

Results:There were many examples of good practice and development of innovative assessments, particularly in the early years of the programmes. At the same time, participants raised several challenges and tensions in relation to the method, timing, and placement of sociology and psychology assessment. Participants reported that many of these issues related to dominant assessment cultures in medical education. As a result, assessing sociology and psychology in medicine can seem like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Solutions to these challenges may require wider changes to assessment practices and cultures.

Conclusion: The challenges shared by participants are evident; nonetheless, there are important opportunities. Our participants were unanimous in their desire to become involved in dialogue and consultation about assessment. This article, reporting on the views of UK SBS educators, is a positive step towards creating a more robust evidence base upon which to engage in these conversations and inform best practice in sociology and psychology assessment.
Sociology and Psychology; Assessment; Social and Behavioural Sciences
2312-7996
Harden, Jeni
7fff4fcf-ff0e-49e7-9617-accceb9c037e
Collett, Tracey
10865407-688f-4db1-bc96-0631257458e7
Forrest, Simon
434065fa-5c91-4e41-889e-4d1a6be15305
Kendall, Kathleen
7c1c7abc-513b-4da5-b99d-268cd1d8bc58
Harden, Jeni
7fff4fcf-ff0e-49e7-9617-accceb9c037e
Collett, Tracey
10865407-688f-4db1-bc96-0631257458e7
Forrest, Simon
434065fa-5c91-4e41-889e-4d1a6be15305
Kendall, Kathleen
7c1c7abc-513b-4da5-b99d-268cd1d8bc58

Harden, Jeni, Collett, Tracey, Forrest, Simon and Kendall, Kathleen (2021) Assessing sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education: Square peg in a round hole? MedEdPublish. (doi:10.15694/mep.2021.000133.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Attention has turned in recent years to the broader inclusion of sociology and psychology in medical curricula. Despite this, there is limited published evidence about how best to assess these subjects. This lack of evidence is significant given that most medical schools are likely to include some form of assessment of sociology and psychology, and that sociology and psychology are included in areas examined in admissions tests and in licensing exams.

Methods: We ran three one day workshops in the UK (London, Edinburgh and Manchester, June – July 2019), to consult with educators involved in sociology and psychology teaching in medicine on: what methods are being used to assess sociology and psychology in UK undergraduate medical education, and the challenges and opportunities experienced. 36 participants attended the workshops, representing 19 of the 33 UK medical schools. Following the workshops, we collated the notes and presentations in order to develop a summary of current assessment practices and synthesis of the main themes identified.

Results:There were many examples of good practice and development of innovative assessments, particularly in the early years of the programmes. At the same time, participants raised several challenges and tensions in relation to the method, timing, and placement of sociology and psychology assessment. Participants reported that many of these issues related to dominant assessment cultures in medical education. As a result, assessing sociology and psychology in medicine can seem like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Solutions to these challenges may require wider changes to assessment practices and cultures.

Conclusion: The challenges shared by participants are evident; nonetheless, there are important opportunities. Our participants were unanimous in their desire to become involved in dialogue and consultation about assessment. This article, reporting on the views of UK SBS educators, is a positive step towards creating a more robust evidence base upon which to engage in these conversations and inform best practice in sociology and psychology assessment.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 17 May 2021
Keywords: Sociology and Psychology; Assessment; Social and Behavioural Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449471
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449471
ISSN: 2312-7996
PURE UUID: 9c4f0f70-d0a6-4708-b702-2727ef08a2bd

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Jun 2021 16:33
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 14:08

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Jeni Harden
Author: Tracey Collett
Author: Simon Forrest

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×