Theoretically and empirically-informed narrative descriptions of competency development

Raymond, Jacqueline, Sealey, Rebecca, Pascoe, Deborah, Naumann, Fiona, and McAllister, Sue (2019) Theoretically and empirically-informed narrative descriptions of competency development. In: Abstracts from the Annual Conference of the Association for Medical Education. p. 1841. From: AMEE 2019: Annual Conference of the Association for Medical Education, 24-28 August 2019, Vienna, Austria.

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Background: Determining whether a student has demonstrated readiness to enter their profession, particularly in professions where semi-autonomous practice is required on graduation, is challenging. Discourse regarding performance assessment has moved from measurement and psychometric validity towards the value of qualitative approaches and narratives to support sound judgement of readiness for practice. The objective of this study was to develop narrative descriptions of competency development. The research questions were: (i) how do experienced clinicians describe students who are developing their clinical competency, and (ii) how do they describe a student who is ready for semi-autonomous professional practice? We investigated these questions within the profession of clinical exercise physiology (CEP). CEP is a role emerging health profession in Australia and therefore is in the early stages of articulating its understanding of readiness for practice and related assessment of performance.

Summary of Work: A social constructivist theoretical perspective informed the methodology. Across three focus groups, 17 CEP clinicians with clinical educator experience were asked to describe (i) what students who are developing their clinical competency 'look like' and (ii) what students who were ready for professional practice 'look like'. Data saturation was reached at the third focus group. A thematic analysis identified the behavioural constructs describing competency development which were then used to write three narrative descriptions of points along a competency continuum. These narrative descriptions were further evaluated and refined through semi-structured interviews.

Summary of Results: The behavioural constructs which informed the narrative descriptions included: consistency, managing complexity, flexibility, safe practice, independence and insight into own performance. Participants considered the narrative descriptions to accurately describe the continuum of competency development and a student who is ready for professional practice.

Discussion and Conclusions: The narrative descriptions fit with contemporary discourse on assessment in clinical workplace settings. The narrative descriptions may be useful in providing support for quality judgements of students' performances in the workplace setting. That is, the narrative descriptions could be used as reference points by those constructing their judgements of student performances.

Take-home Messages: The broad behavioural constructs in the narratives may be relevant to other health professionals' practice.

Item ID: 60779
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 23:36
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 100%
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