Die geldigheid van prestasie-evaluering van kliniese tegnologie studente
Human, Hans Jurie
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Clinical technology as a profession has been part of the rapid development of modem medical technology in South Africa. From the start the training of clinical technologists consisted of practical in-service training at an academic hospital and a theoretical component completed at a technikon. Questions about the standard of training of clinical technologists have often been raised by members of the profession. An initial opinion pole amongst recently qualified clinical technologists about the evaluation of their theoretical knowledge and practical skills showed that they were not certain what they were tested for in the examinations, or what the practical year mark was awarded for at the end of their experiential training. The question thus arose whether the evaluation of theoretical knowledge and practical skills were really appropriate and relevant. In order to investigate validity of the training process, namely the 'evaluation of clinical technology students, three literature studies were conducted. The first was to determine what acceptable evaluation practice is as regards the evaluation of theoretical content and practical skills. It was apparent from the literature that the inclusion of learning objectives should be the norm for effective goal orientated training and evaluation. The second literature study was conducted to determine the validity of the evaluation of clinical technology students. As a result of this literature study a description was made of the task of professions in the USA similar to clinical technology, the health worker in general and the profession of clinical technology specifically. From this task description it was apparent that the evaluation of clinical technologists' skills should not just include knowledge, comprehension and application, but that one should also test for analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The third literature study conducted was to determine whether Bloom's taxonomy for cognitive objectives could be used to provide a measure of the validity of test items. As a result of this literature study a classification of test items from final year papers was done to determine the cognitive level on which questions were formulated. v This analysis of test items showed that questions were mainly formulated on the knowledge level and did not provide for higher order skills as demanded by the task analysis of the clinical technologist. Referring to the evaluation of practical skills an analysis of the methods used by trainers to award the practical yearmark showed that training and evaluation are not being performed in an effective goal orientated manner. The reason is that trainers do not use training objectives for the development of cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills of students. The conclusion is made that performance evaluation of the theoretical content and practical skills of clinical technology students do not satisfy the criteria of validity. To improve the training and evaluation practice, it is recommended that training objectives for theoretical content and practical skills are formulated, that practical performance tests are designed, and that attention is given to the improvement of the training and evaluation skills of trainers and examiners.