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Get your students to observe and rate each other!
Evaluating Oral Case Presentations Using a Checklist: How Do Senior Student-Evaluators Compare With Faculty?
S. Kakar et al. Academic Medicine 2013; 88:1363-1367
Reviewed by Lolita (Maria) Alkureishi

What was the study question?
How do senior student evaluators compare with faculty in the evaluation of student oral case presentations (OCPs)?

How was the study done?
The authors developed a 23-item checklist that a competent & thorough OCP should contain. They recruited fourth-year medical students to serve as student-evaluators, along with 10 faculty members, and trained them all in 2-hour identical sessions on use of the checklist. At the end of the academic year, all second-year medical students participated in a four-station video-taped OSCE as part of their year- long Clinical Skills course. One of these stations was an OCP where students presented an abdominal pain case to one of the student-evaluators, who scored them real-time using the checklist.

Afterwards, 43 of the 170 videos were randomly chosen and assigned to faculty participants who reviewed and scored them using the same checklist.

What were the results?
Faculty & student-evaluators agreed closely (>75%) on most individual items on the final 18-item checklist (some items eliminated due to low inter-rater variability). Student-evaluators were more lenient than faculty, but the agreement between the pass/fail cutoff was 74%.

What are the implications of these findings?
While this wouldn't take away from the importance of faculty feedback on OCPs, this provides another (and more available) resource to augment their training. In addition, it provides the student-teacher valuable experience to improve both their own presentation skills and their skills as teachers, an idea that has gained considerable momentum in the residents-as-teachers world.

Editor's note: Faculty time and attention is ever more precious in medical education. Casting a wider net for teachers and evaluators, in this instance employing senior medical students, can spare faculty and provide a teaching/learning opportunity for the students.(RR)

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