Evaluating the extent to which the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) impact on future student placement development

Project: Non-funded project

Description

When designing the current BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Pathology, OSCEs were identified as having a role at a specific stage in student development. Using the Scottish Curriculum Qualifications Framework (SCQF, 2012) as a skills’ benchmark, there was a clear description in two skill sets (Practice, applied knowledge and understanding; Communication) at levels 8 and 9 of the framework that corresponded to 2nd and 3rd year level of undergraduate study in Scotland. Four specific clinical skills were identified as suitable for OSCE and these were introduced into the curriculum in academic session 2015/16. Each task was intrinsically linked to a specific skill that would be developed during the 2nd year clinical placement with class based support activities. The OSCEs were then timetabled to take place during the summer examination diet for 2nd year students. Student feedback has been positive since the introduction of the OSCEs, with students commenting on aspects related to their relevance to clinical practice, their understanding of what the OSCEs were assessing, parity across the cohort and the value of constructive feedback for future learning (Cohen & Timmins, 2017). External examiners have also commended the course team on the introduction of the OSCEs. Recent studies have explored OSCEs from the learners’ perspective and in particular from the field of nursing. Nursing students have reported that OSCEs lead to increased self-directed learning and increased self-confidence (Ha, 2016) and that the constructive feedback learners receive contribute positively to their future learning and development. The extent to which speech and language therapy students can implement the skills they have demonstrated during their 2nd year OSCEs has not been evaluated and this study proposes to undertake this type of evaluation. By sampling, anonymously, the current 3rd year SLP cohort, who have successfully completed their OSCEs it is hoped that we can understand whether or not students have been able to implement these skills successfully in practice. Through additional discussion with the clinical tutors who provide guidance and support to these students as they progress through their subsequent 3rd year placement we hope to understand more about the effect that OSCEs have on future student learning and development.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date24/09/1831/08/19