Purpose: Growing demands placed upon healthcare systems require more health professionals to be trained. Clinical placement education is an integral component of health professional training, however accommodating increasing numbers of student placements is a challenge for health services. Personal digital assistants such as iPads™ may assist in delivery of clinical education, by facilitating transfer of knowledge and skills from clinical educators to health professional students, however such an initiative has not been formally investigated. The present study sought to explore perceptions of clinical educators and allied health students regarding the impact of an iPad™-based feedback delivery system on student reflection and learning. Methods: A pilot study was performed using iPads™ with specialised software to deliver electronic formative feedback to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology students during clinical placements. Students and clinical educators completed a questionnaire exploring advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Results: Nine clinical educators and 14 students participated and completed the survey. Clinical educators largely (n=7, 78%) reported the electronic feedback system was easy to use and 67% (n=6) reported it improved the quality of feedback provided to students. Five (56%) clinical educators thought electronic feedback improved student performance. Most students (n=10, 71%) reported electronic feedback facilitated reflection upon performance, and 64% (n=9) reported improved performance as a result. Disadvantages included poor wireless internet access and software inefficiencies (n=7 [78%] clinical educators, n=7 [50%] students), and difficulties using iPads™ in settings requiring infection control (n=2 [22%] clinical educators). Conclusions: Clinical educators and students perceived electronic feedback as a positive adjunct to student learning on clinical placement, however technological and software interface factors need to be considered for implementation in some settings.
Funding was provided by the Health Education and Training Network (Hunter and Coast Interdisciplinary Training Network Local Project Fund), Health Workforce Australia.
Snodgrass SJ, Rivett D, Farrell S, Ball K, Ashby SE, Johnston CL, et al. Clinical Educator and Student Perceptions of iPad™ Technology to Enhance Clinical Supervision: The Electronically-Facilitated Feedback Initiative (EFFI). The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2016 Oct 25;14(4), Article 4.