Students’ perceptions of feedback received in a competency-based clinical program with a programmatic approach to assessment
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OBJECTIVE: This qualitative research focused on students’ perception of feedback received in a clinical program with a programmatic approach to assessment. The mini-CEX is a common used tool to give students feedback during clinical clerkships. Students require meaningful feedback during clinical education in order to improve practical skills. However, recent literature has not provided insight in students’ perceptions of feedback received by the miniCEX as being part of a programmatic approach to assessment. METHOD: Between July and September 2018 twenty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with veterinary students. Participants were year five and six students from three different clinical tracks. They were asked about their perceptions of feedback received by the mini-CEX. Template analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. RESULTS: Data analysis revealed six themes important to students’ perceptions of feedback received by the mini-CEX. Observation, feedback quality, teacher characteristics, professional learning culture, supervisor continuity and the perceived stake of feedback were mentioned as important. CONCLUSION: Students’ perceptions of feedback received during clinical clerkships depends on multiple factors. First, direct observation by the teacher is essential to provide meaningful feedback. Next, feedback must be given by teachers themselves and focused on personal learning goals to be useful. In a professional learning culture longitudinal student-teacher relationships are important in order to create meaningful feedback. The intended formative purpose of the mini-CEX is disrupted by being part of the summative assessment. These results can contribute towards the utility of feedback received by mini-CEX in clinical education.