Learning to prescribe and instruct exercise in physiotherapy education through authentic continuous assessment and rubrics

Doris Yin Kei Chong (Corresponding Author), Barbara Tam, Suk Yu Yau, Arnold Yu Lok Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Authentic assessment and effective feedback are among various strategies that promote learning in the assessment process. These strategies are commonly used during clinical placements. However, they are rarely implemented in the didactic portion of physiotherapy education despite the benefits this type of assessment may bring to achieving students' learning and outcome. Methods: This mixed method study investigated how an authentic continuous assessment coupled with rubrics facilitated physiotherapy students' learning process in a real-life complex skill of exercise prescription and instruction. The study also explored the relationship between different activities in the Learning Management System (LMS) and learning outcomes. Qualitative data was collected using a focus group and an analysis of discussion forum posts. Quantitative data included various information from a questionnaire, the LMS and assessment score. Results: Thematic analyses from the focus group and discussion forum posts suggest that students used a cyclical self-regulated learning process as a result of authentic task design and rubrics for feedback facilitation. Interestingly, the discussion forum access was found to be moderately and significantly correlated with assessment score by Spearman's rank correlation (ρ = 0.59, p < 0.01), while the students did not find the discussion forum useful. Conclusions: Overall results suggest the promotion of self-regulated learning in this authentic continuous assessment. The roles and goals of each authentic task within the assessment should be made explicit in order to raise cognitive awareness of benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number258
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020


  • Authentic assessment
  • Physiotherapy education
  • Rubrics
  • Self-regulated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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