The participation assurance test: A new teaching strategy to ensure student participation in learning


Narmeen Hashim, Sheraz Khan, Saniya Hashim

Introduction: Participation of students in learning determines their scholastic achievements. The current teaching systems do not assess student participation in learning rather than provide the grades based on knowledge recall. Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a teaching strategy that can provide a standardized measure of student engagement in the learning process. Materials and methods: A quasiexperimental study undertaken in Rehman Medical College, Peshawar, KP, Pakistan (March–May 2018), involved 96 medical students (16 groups) of third professional MBBS present in small group format session on medical research. The participation assurance test administered after the lesson involved (i) written individual participation assurance test (iPAT) for individual performance, (ii) written team participation assurance test (tPAT) for team performance, (iii) perception-based peer evaluation pPAT for rating team members, and (iv) observer-based PAT (oPAT) by the facilitator for intra- and intergroup dynamics. Scores in numerical and Likert’s scales were analyzed by SPSS 22.0 for the descriptive and comparative analysis and correlations, keeping p ≤ 0.05 significant. Results: Mean iPAT was 54.66 ± 12.80 compared to mean tPAT 75.96 ± 19.85(p ≤ 0.001), mean pPAT was 20.83 ± 5.14 compared to mean oPAT of 16.50 ± 4.99 (p ≤ 0.001), and mean closed group oPAT was 4.19 ± 1.90 compared to open group oPAT of 12.31 ± 3.40 (p ≤ 0.001). A significant correlation was obtained for iPAT and tPAT (r = 0.564, p = 0.023). The groups achieving ≥60 iPAT marks showed the significant correlations of iPAT with tPAT (r = 0.869, p = 0.024) and closed group oPAT (r = −0.882, p = 0.017); the groups scoring below 60 in iPAT showed the significant correlations of iPAT with tPAT (r = 0.749, p = 0.013), open group oPAT (r = 0.636, p = 0.048), and total oPAT (r = 0.635, p = 0.048). Conclusion: The PAT was effective in assessing individual and team-based student participation and supports the adoption of the open group teaching strategy as more effective for student participation in learning.