Development of a Weekly Feedback Tool to Facilitate Clinical Instructor/Student Communication
Purpose: High quality feedback (FB) from clinical instructors (CIs) is vital for student development. To be useful to students in the clinic, FB needs to be clear and specifically related to the tool used to evaluate student performance and the outcomes expected. Many entry-level DPT programs use the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) as the tool to evaluate student performance and to set expectations in terms related to the CPI Performance Criterion and Performance Dimensions. The CPI only allows for summative FB at 2 points in time during a clinical education experience, a weekly form to provide formative FB to the student as they progress through the clinical education experience. The purpose of this method presentation is to describe how one University transitioned from a generic weekly FB form to a CPI-focused weekly FB form, with the goal of improving communication between the CI and student.Methods/Description: The Director of Clinical Education (DCE) of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and Site Coordinators of Clinical Education (SCCE) of the affiliated University faculty practices (3 outpatient and 1 inpatient) met to discuss how the facilities could better standardize process, expectations, and feedback for the students completing clinical education experiences at the four facilities. One area of focus in the discussion was the weekly feedback form that is used by the DPT program. The SCCE reported inconsistencies in how the form was used by CIs, specifically noting that the form did not facilitate setting weekly goals that related to end-point expectations for students. The DCE/SCCE group consulted with the University Center for Excellence in Teaching to develop a new CPI-focused weekly FB form that incorporated verbiage from the CPI to facilitate progression of the clinical experience. Use of the revised CPI-focused weekly FB form was piloted by students completing a 16-week clinical education experiences during fall 2017.Results/Outcomes: Verbal feedback from both CIs and students who used the CPI-focused weekly FB form expressed strong satisfaction with the tool, positive remarks toward increased communication, and improved self-reflection. Students reported that this increased their ability to see achievements and failures as a form of helpful feedback. This allowed the CI and the student to align their goals toward the same outcomes.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: Utilizing the new FB form allowed the CI and the student to develop a specific plan to direct weekly learning activities focused on achieving specific behaviors on the CPI. Improved communication between students and CIs fosters resilience and students’ ability to self-reflect, accept and apply feedback to improve clinical performance. Given the positive input about the revised CPI-focused weekly FB form, the plan is to utilize the new form with all students in our DPT program. We will survey students and CIs to determine value based outcomes of the new tool. These results will be presented at ELC in October.References: Burgess A, Mellis C. Feedback and assessment for clinical placements: achieving the right balance. Advances in Medical Education and Practice. 2015;6:373-381. doi:10.2147/AMEP.S77890.