Midwifery students experience of teamwork projects involving mark-related peer feedback
Hastie, CR, Fahy, KM, Parratt, JA & Grace, S 2016, 'Midwifery students experience of teamwork projects involving mark-related peer feedback', Women and Birth, vol. 29, pp. 252-259.
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Background: Lack of teamwork skills among health care professionals endangers patients and enables workplace bullying. Individual teamwork skills are increasingly being assessed in the undergraduate health courses but rarely defined, made explicit or taught. To remedy these deficiencies we introduced a longitudinal educational strategy across all three years of the Bachelor of Midwifery program.
Aim: To report on students’ experiences of engaging in team based assignments which involved mark related peer feedback.
Methods: Stories of midwifery students’ experiences were collected from 17 participants across the three years of the degree. These were transcribed and analysed thematically and interpreted using feminist collaborative conversations.
Results: Most participants reported being in well-functioning teams and enjoyed the experience; they spoke of ‘we’ and said ‘Everyone was on Board’. Students in poorly functioning teams spoke of ‘I’ and ‘they’. These students complained about the poor performance of others but they didn’t speak up because they ‘didn’t want to make waves’ and they didn’t have the skills to be able to confidently manage conflict. All participants agreed ‘Peer-related marks cause mayhem’.
Conclusion: Teamwork skills should be specifically taught and assessed. These skills take time to develop. Students, therefore, should be engaged in a teamwork assignment in each semester of the entire program. Peer feedback should be moderated by the teacher and not directly related to marks.