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Feedback on Oral Presentations During Pediatric Clerkships: A Randomized Controlled Trial Sox CM et al. Pediatrics 2014; 134(5):965-971.

Reviewed by Kyra Len

What was the study question?
What is the best way to improve oral case presentation skills during the pediatric clerkship: no formal presentation feedback or using a simple or detailed evaluation form for their presentation feedback session?

How was the study done?
This multi-centered study involved 476 students from Boston University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Students were randomized to three groups: a control group with no formal presentation feedback, formal presentation feedback using a simple single item rating form or formal presentation feedback using an 18 item detailed evaluation form. They received feedback early during their pediatric clerkship. At the end of the clerkship, the quality of the students’ presentations was evaluated by faculty blinded to their randomization. The students also completed a survey answering the question if their presentations improved during the clerkship.

What were the results?
Students from the detailed 18 item form feedback group were assessed to have a presentation that had a 3.8% higher quality score compared to the control group with no formal feedback session. There was no difference in the quality of student presentations when given feedback using the simple form compared with the control. Students from the detailed form group reported improvement in their presentations during the clerkship compared to the control group.

What are the implications of these findings?
This is an outstanding randomized controlled trial that demonstrates the importance of detailed feedback in helping student improve their oral presentation skills. This study supports using a detailed evaluation feedback form as a tool to provide feedback to students on their oral presentations skills at the beginning of the clerkship and that there is a high likelihood that students will show improvement in presentations at the end of their clerkship.

Editor’s note: This study - by our very own COMSEP members!!! - contains the 18-item list used in the study. This might be a helpful resources for other clerkships (SLB).

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