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05-09-2018 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2018 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 5/2018

Fostering medical students’ lifelong learning skills with a dashboard, coaching and learning planning

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 5/2018
Karen E. Hauer, Nicholas Iverson, Alekist Quach, Patrick Yuan, Stephanie Kaner, Christy Boscardin
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40037-018-0449-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



To develop lifelong learning skills, students need feedback, access to performance data, and coaching. A new medical curriculum incorporated infrastructural supports based on self-regulated learning theory and the Master Adaptive Learner framework to engage students in reflection and learning planning. This study examines students’ experience with a performance dashboard, longitudinal coaching, and structured time for goal-setting.


Focus groups with first-year medical students explored performance dashboard usage, coaching and learning planning. We analyzed findings using thematic analysis. Results informed development of a 29-item survey rated strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) to investigate experience with the dashboard, coaching and learning goals program. The survey was distributed to one first-year medical student class. We performed descriptive statistics and factor analysis.


In three focus groups with 21 participants, students endorsed using the dashboard to access performance information but had trouble interpreting and integrating information. They valued coaches as sources of advice but varied in their perceptions of the value of discussing learning planning. Of 152 students, 114 (75%) completed the survey. Exploratory factor analysis yielded 5 factors explaining 57% of the variance: learning goals development (α = 0.88; mean 3.25 (standard deviation 0.91)), dashboard usage (α = 0.82; 3.36 (0.64)), coaching (α = 0.71; 3.72 (0.64)), employment of learning strategies (α = 0.81; 3.67 (0.79)), and reflection (α = 0.63; 3.68 (0.64)).


The student performance dashboard provides efficient feedback access, yet students’ use of this information to guide learning is variable. These results can inform other programs seeking to foster lifelong learning skills.
Extra materiaal
Appendix 1. Focus Group Facilitator Script
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