Competency-Based Assessment for Clinical Supervisors: Design-Based Research on a Web-Delivered Program

Rachel BACON, Lauren Williams, Laurie Grealish, Maggie JAMIESON

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BACKGROUND: Clinicians need to be supported by universities to use credible and defensible assessment practices during student placements. Web-based delivery of clinical education in student assessment offers professional development regardless of the geographical location of placement sites. OBJECTIVE: This paper explores the potential for a video-based constructivist Web-based program to support site supervisors in their assessments of student dietitians during clinical placements. METHODS: This project was undertaken as design-based research in two stages. Stage 1 describes the research consultation, development of the prototype, and formative feedback. In Stage 2, the program was pilot-tested and evaluated by a purposeful sample of nine clinical supervisors. Data generated as a result of user participation during the pilot test is reported. Users' experiences with the program were also explored via interviews (six in a focus group and three individually). The interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis conducted from a pedagogical perspective using van Manen's highlighting approach. RESULTS: This research succeeded in developing a Web-based program, "Feed our Future", that increased supervisors' confidence with their competency-based assessments of students on clinical placements. Three pedagogical themes emerged: constructivist design supports transformative Web-based learning; videos make abstract concepts tangible; and accessibility, usability, and pedagogy are interdependent. CONCLUSIONS: Web-based programs, such as Feed our Future, offer a viable means for universities to support clinical supervisors in their assessment practices during clinical placements. A design-based research approach offers a practical process for such Web-based tool development, highlighting pedagogical barriers for planning purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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