טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentKhoury Katy
SubjectTeaching, Learning and Assessment of Non-Cognitive Skills
among Undergraduate Medical Students
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Dr. Tzvia Kaberman
Professor Yehudit Dori
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Non-cognitive skills are increasingly emphasized in medical education. Physicians and medical students are required to master non-cognitive skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills, self-awareness, stress management, and awareness of ethical issues and dilemmas. Since the beginning of 2007, in addition to cognitive components, students’ admissions to several medical schools in Israel and rely on the assessment of their non-cognitive skills through MOR examinations. Due to the importance of non-cognitive skills for medical students and physicians, medical schools are extending the focus on those skills in their curriculum. There are numerous tools for assessing non-cognitive skills through these courses. However, these tools are usually too diverse and do not reflect the teaching and learning processes that occurred.

The current research investigated the “Being a physician - Experiencing the medical profession” course at the Technion’s Faculty of Medicine. The course is mandatory for each one of the three pre-clinical years and its aim is to expose the students to the medical profession.

The research objectives were: (a) Identifying and characterizing the declared objectives of the course, (b) Identifying, characterizing, and investigating the teaching, learning, and assessment strategies which are integrated into the course and focus on non-cognitive skills, throughout the three years of the course.

The research participants included the course-team and students that participated in the course. The research tools included observations during the course meetings, observations in summary sessions conducted by the course-team, course documentations, and semi-structured interviews with physicians-coordinators and mentors of the course.

The analysis indicated that communication skills concerning physician-patient relationships were the main expressed non-cognitive skills in the three years of the course and in the interviews, with awareness to ethical issues as a non-cognitive key skill especially in the third year of the course. The assessment strategies did not reflect the diverse teaching and learning strategies in the course. Furthermore, the physicians-mentors expressed their doubts in understanding the course objectives, their difficulties in evaluating and grading the students, and emphasized the necessity of standardized and clear assessment tools. Various teaching and learning approaches and diverse assessment tools were recommended.

The importance of having a match between the teaching and the assessment methods led us and the course-team to develop new and standardized assessment tools that may contribute to the improvement of the teaching methods as well as to future studies which will focus on non-cognitive skills among medical students in a variety of medical schools.