As with the finding from our first study, this study demonstrated that it was clearly not sufficient to simply provide feedback and expect students to make appropriate use of it; there was a need for mentoring.
Mentoring helped students to interpret feedback and could support the fostering of agency if the scaffolding was reduced as time went on through the course. The study reinforces the potential learning benefits of mentoring in a supportive relationship, linked with authentic assessment and feedback, which have been demonstrated in studies of longitudinal integrated clerkships. At times, mentors adopted a more paternalistic approach, which was not helpful for promoting agency. This resonates with the literature on the challenges facing problem-based learning tutors.
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