Speech and Language Therapists’ Perspectives of an E-Learning Course on Providing Feedback in the Clinical Learning Environment

Quigley, Duana, Gilheaney, Órla, O’Neill, Mary and Davis, Siobhan (2022) Speech and Language Therapists’ Perspectives of an E-Learning Course on Providing Feedback in the Clinical Learning Environment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 74 (4). pp. 296-310. ISSN 1021-7762


<b><i>Background:</i></b> A fundamental component of supervising a student speech and language therapist (SLT) on placement is the provision of feedback. There are numerous identified challenges to ensure the delivery of high-quality feedback to optimise student learning and student success. Supervisors can help overcome these challenges and engage in evidence-based feedback processes if they are supported to develop the necessary knowledge and skills. E-learning is one possible means to provide this professional development to a large number of practising SLTs who are geographically dispersed and have conflicting schedules. <b><i>Aims:</i></b> This study aimed to capture and evaluate the perspectives of SLTs who completed an e-learning course on providing feedback in the clinical learning environment, including the suitability and effectiveness of the e-learning tool used. <b><i>Methods and Procedures:</i></b> An innovative e-learning course was designed to provide asynchronous video and interactive content on evidence-based theories and practices for effective feedback processes. Clinical scenarios relevant to the discipline of speech and language therapy were included. Participants were invited to complete optional, anonymous pre- and post-evaluation surveys. Data were analysed quantitively (descriptive and inferential statistics) and qualitatively (thematic analysis). <b><i>Outcomes and Results:</i></b> Participants indicated that the e-learning course supported them to enhance their feedback processes in the clinical learning environment through identified changes to their practices. The increases in confidence providing feedback they reported were statistically significant. In addition, the e-learning course was rated highly on numerous variables related to quality. Recommendations for adaptations and additions were also highlighted. <b><i>Conclusions and Implications:</i></b> An e-learning course on effective and evidence-based feedback processes provides an opportunity to provide professional development to a large number of geographically dispersed practitioners in a cost-effective and flexible way. This could ensure more SLTs are confident and competent in their role as supervisor of students, which requires distinct knowledge and skills from that of a practitioner. Ultimately, this will help maximise educator and student success in the feedback process and consequently improve clinical performance and healthcare delivery.

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