Background: Doctoral supervision is a distinct form of supervision with clearly defined responsibilities. One of these is the delivery of effective face-to-face feedback to allow supervisees to improve upon their performances. Unfortunately, doctoral supervisors, especially of health sciences, are often not trained in supervisory skills and therefore practice mostly on a trial and error basis. Lack of understanding of the feedback process leads to incongruence in how supervisors and supervisees perceive feedback. However, standardized training practices like microteaching can allow supervisors to acquire effective feedback practices. In this study we employed a schematic approach of microteaching, that is micro-feedback, in a workshop to develop feedback skills of doctoral supervisors, and assessed the overall effectiveness of this training using the Kirkpatrick evaluation framework.
Methodology: This was a Quasi-experimental study with a repeated measures and a two-group separate sample pre-post test design. A micro-feedback skills workshop was organized to enhance feedback skills of doctoral supervisors using microteaching technique. The first two levels of the Kirkpatrick evaluation model were used to determine the workshop's effectiveness. An informal Objective Structured Teaching Exercise (OSTE) was used to assess feedback skills of the supervisors, both before and after the workshop. A questionnaire was developed to compare pre-and post-workshop perceptions of the supervisors (n = 17) and their corresponding supervisees (n = 34) regarding the ongoing feedback practice.
Results: Despite the hectic schedule, most doctoral supervisors (17 of 24, 71%) were willing to undertake faculty development training. Participants indicated a high level of satisfaction with the workshop. A learning gain of 56% was observed on pre-post OSTE scores. Prior to the workshop, perceptions of how supervisees should be given the feedback differed significantly between supervisors and supervisees with an effect size difference of r = 0.30. After the workshop there was a negligible difference in perceptions between supervisors and supervisees (r = .001). Interestingly, supervisors shifted their perceptions more toward those that were originally held by the supervisees.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that well-designed and properly assessed structured programs such as micro-feedback workshops can improve how doctoral supervisors provide feedback to their supervisees and align supervisors' perceptions of that feedback with those of their supervisees.
- Doctoral supervisors
- Objective structured teaching exercise (OSTE)