Assessment consolidates undergraduate students’ learning of community-based education

I Moodley, S Singh


Background. Community-based education (CBE) is an empirical education experience that shifts clinical education from traditional to community settings to provide health sciences students with meaningful learning opportunities. However, assessing the effectiveness of these learning opportunities is a challenge.

Objectives. To describe the methods used for assessment of CBE by the various disciplines in the School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa, and to determine how they were aligned to the anticipated learning outcomes.

Methods. This qualitative study consisted of a purposively selected sample of 9 academics who participated in audio-taped interviews and focus group discussions, with the data being thematically analysed. Ethical approval was obtained from UKZN.

Results. The disciplines in the School of Health Sciences used various assessment methods, ranging from simple tests, assignments and case presentations to more complex clinical assessments, blogging and portfolio assessments. Multiple methods were required to meet the anticipated learning outcomes of CBE, as a single assessment would not achieve this.

Conclusion. The study findings indicated that assessment plays an important role in consolidating student learning at CBE sites, with multiple assessment methods being required to achieve graduate competencies in preparation for the workplace. Choice of assessment methods must be contextual and fit for purpose to allow for overall student development.

Authors' affiliations

I Moodley, Discipline of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

S Singh, Discipline of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Community-based settings; Assessments; Health sciences; UKZN

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2020;12(1):27-35. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2020.v12i1.1135

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-03-31
Date published: 2020-03-31

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