INTRODUCTION: Medical students' personal and professional behaviours have been assessed poorly in medical schools. No research exists exploring the acceptability of 360-degree judgements as a method of assessing such behaviours. This study aims to explore students' and assessors' views and experiences of 360-degree judgements. METHODS: Eighteen students and 12 assessors participated in 4 focus group discussions in spring 2003. Discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim and the transcripts were theme analysed independently by 2 analysts. RESULTS: Although 360-degree judgements were felt to drive students' behaviour positively, they were also thought to influence learning and behaviour adversely. Various factors were thought to influence assessors' abilities to make good quality judgements, such as situational factors like the length of time spent with students, characteristics relating to the assessment criteria and characteristics of the assessor, such as apathy. DISCUSSION: Additional research using qualitative and quantitative methods is needed to explore these issues further.
- Education, medical, undergraduate/*standards
- Educational measurement
- Focus groups
- Professional competence/*standards
- Students, medical