Identifying the Learning Priorities of Clinical Supervisors

Margaret Lynn Bearman, Joanna Hong-Meng Tai, Fiona Maree Kent, Vicki Edouard, Debra Faye Nestel, Elizabeth Molloy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Context Clinical supervisors have an educative role but require faculty development to improve their educational skills. Curricula for faculty development programs are often based on expert frameworks1 however there is little published information about the learning priorities as defined by clinical supervisors themselves. This research investigated what clinical supervisors considered relative priorities. We sought to provide curricular guidance for faculty development programs through answering the research question: what do clinical supervisors identify as relative strengths and areas for improvement in their teaching practice? Methods As part of a multi-institutional and interprofessional faculty development program in the foundations of clinical teaching, clinical supervisors completed a modified version of the Maastricht Clinical Teaching Questionnaire2 (mMCTQ) as a reflective exercise. Descriptive statistics were calculated and content analysis was conducted on the free text comments. Results 481 (49%) of 978 clinical supervisors submitted their mMCTQs for the research study. Clinical supervisors identified relatively strong capability with interpersonal skills or attributes and indicated least capability with assisting learners to explore strengths, weaknesses and learning goals. The category ‘establishing relationships’ was the most reported strength with 224 responses. The category ‘feedback’ was the most reported area for improvement, with 151 responses. Discussion Key areas for curricular focus include: improving feedback practices; stimulating reflective and agentic learning; and managing the logistics of a clinical education environment. The main point of difference with expert frameworks is clinical supervisors’ emphasis on managing logistics. Additionally, the data suggests that clinical supervisors are challenged by letting students take responsibility for their own learning. Conclusions: Faculty development curricula should take into account the learning priorities of clinical supervisors, including managing teaching within a logistically challenging environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
EventInternational Clinical Skills Conference 2017: Transitions - Prato, Tuscany, Italy
Duration: 21 May 201724 May 2017
Conference number: 7th (Abstract book)


ConferenceInternational Clinical Skills Conference 2017
Internet address

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