SCAN : A framework for facilitating clinical feedback
There is widespread acceptance that feedback is a contentious area in higher education. Students often comment that they do not get enough information in the feedback process, or that information they do receive is not relevant.
At the same time, many supervisors and educators feel that feedback is time-consuming and is often ignored.
Course evaluation and review of the 4th (final) year of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty) programme at the University of Otago also identified these differing opinions.
We recognised that clinical supervisors have busy clinical lives with a focus on patient care. They have limited training in pedagogical principles.
These reasons led to development of a framework for engaging in feedback where the process was clear, expectations explicit, student contribution was emphasised and there was a feed forward mechanism to improve future practice or learning.
The SCAN Framework:
The framework consists of 4 distinct and related parts:
S: stands for student. It emphasises the active role of the student during feedback.
C: stands for clinician. It recognises the value that clinical supervisors bring to work-based learning.
A: stands for associates. This may include the perspectives of others such as peers, patients, family members, or other health professionals;
N: stands for next steps. Reflection on past performance is only helpful to learning by feeding forward into future performance, finding solutions, or developing plans.
How to use the SCAN Framework
Following a clinical encounter, a short conversation about the student’s performance can take place using the SCAN structure.
Prompts are provided for each step and the entire process is designed to take as little as ten minutes. The SCAN framework can also be employed to facilitate reflective self-evaluation and to work through the feedback process at a later meeting.
Familiarity with the SCAN framework, and the prompt questions, should speed up the process and make it more effective. The supporting resources are designed to promote the SCAN framework’s on-going utilisation.
A suite of educational resources have been developed to support implementation and ongoing use of the SCAN framework.
These resources should be made available to students (e.g. via a learning management system), and supplemented with seminars and training sessions.
Similarly, clinical supervisors should attend presentations on the SCAN framework and be provided with hard copy and electronic versions of the manual.
Two versions of a hard-copy manual outlining the SCAN framework have been developed.
Four video clip resources have been produced, illustrating different clinical scenarios where feedback is taking place between a student and a clinical supervisor.
School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
- Dr Cathy Chapple
- Judy Goroncy
- Aleksandra Mącznik
- Dr Ewan Kennedy
- Sandra Ferdinand
- Jacqui Plater
- Year 4 Bachelor of Physiotherapy students
Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago
- Dr Angela McLean
Ako Aotearoa $8,692 (excl. GST)
University of Otago $18,226 (excl. GST)
Project commenced: July 2014
Project completed: June 2016
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