Clinical supervisor training: using critical incidents to identify learning outcomes

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Student supervision training varies by design and mode and is typically evaluated via satisfaction and confidence rating surveys that consider participants’ subjective perceptions and attitudes. This study investigated the effectiveness of a 2‐day interprofessional student supervision training workshop by identifying participants’ confidence and their learning outcomes, through their responses to a clinical supervision scenario.

Four workshops were held with 112 of 142 workshop participants who consented to respond to a pre‐ and post‐training questionnaire investigating confidence ratings and to a critical clinical supervision scenario that identified key features, actions and subsequent intended outcomes. Critical incident theory was used in the study design and data analysis.

Confidence in supervision knowledge and skills improved after the workshop. Participants identified similar key features of the scenario before and after the workshop; however, there were qualitative differences in their planned actions and intended outcomes. Pre‐workshop, participants focused on feedback and communication strategies to identify and resolve challenges using a didactic approach. Comparatively, post‐workshop, the participants’ response to the scenario suggested that they would collaborate with the student to explore the situation and plan strategies in partnership and to mutually understand the issues. Participants’ pre‐workshop learning goals related to their post‐workshop learning attainment, but findings suggested a deeper understanding and application of the learning after the workshop.

Using a critical incident scenario in conjunction with confidence ratings in the evaluation of a student supervision workshop suggested that participants acquired an integrated understanding of students’ learning in clinical placement and provided a framework to guide future training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalThe Clinical Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Clinical supervisor
  • workplace learning
  • Professional placement
  • Faculty development


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