The Effect of Rubric-Guided, Focused, Personalized Coaching Sessions and Video-Recorded Presentations on Teaching Skills Among Fourth-Year Medical Students: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Problem

As medical students become residents, teaching becomes an expected and integral responsibility. Yet, training-for-teaching opportunities are lacking. In 2014, the authors designed a pilot study using rubric-guided, focused, personalized coaching sessions and video-recorded presentations to improve student teaching skills among fourth-year students at Harvard Medical School.

Approach

In 2014–2015, the authors recruited students from an elective on how to tutor preclinical students for the pilot, which consisted of four phases: a precoaching teaching presentation, a 30- to 45-minute coaching session, a postcoaching teaching presentation, and blinded reviewer ratings. Students’ pre- and postcoaching presentations were video recorded. Using a scoring rubric for 15 teaching skills, students rated their pre- and postcoaching videos. Blinded reviewers also rated the pre- and postcoaching presentations using the same rubric with an additional category to gauge their overall impression.

Outcomes

Fourteen students completed all four phases of the pilot. Students’ ratings demonstrated statistically significant improvement in several teaching skills, including presentation content (P < .001), rate of speech (P = .001), and opening statement and learning objectives (P = .004). Blinded reviewers’ ratings demonstrated statistically significant improvements in several teaching skills, including opening statement and learning objectives (P < .001), overall impression (P = .001), and conclusion and summary of learning objectives (P = .004). Students provided largely positive comments on the interventions.

Next Steps

The authors will work toward addressing limitations in the rubric, using coaching in different teaching settings, addressing the interventions’ generalizability, training coaches, and performing additional evaluations.

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