Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Education Research

Providing evidence-based educational initiatives for undergraduate students has led to the development of projects including an evaluation of the effectiveness of a teaching skills programme on teaching behaviours of medical and physiotherapy tutors and educators (in progress).

The Practice Education Team was recently awarded a grant from the National Academy for the Integration of Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) to create an online assessment skills module for clinical teachers. This project involves clinical teachers from the RCSI-affiliated hospitals - Cork University Hospital, Waterford Regional Hospital, University Hospitals Galway, Beaumont and Kerry General Hospitals.

Teaching the Teachers; Does the Delivery of an Established Clinical Skills Teaching Programme Have an Effect on Clinical Teaching Behaviours?

Research team
Aileen Barrett, Dr. Muirne Spooner and Eric Clarke.
Project description
In 2009/2012 we delivered clinical teaching skills workshops to over 150 clinicians in physiotherapy, medicine and nursing. The aim of this retrospective online survey is to investigate whether or not these workshops have had an impact on these clinicians' self-reported teaching behaviours, and what, if any, was the most important change they have made since attending the workshop.
Department of Medicine, Beaumont Hospital; Health Informatics, RCSI.

Developing an Innovative, Online Assessment Skills Module for Clinical Tutors and Educators in Health Professions Education.

Research team
RCSI Physiotherapy Practice Education Team
Project description
The aim of this 12-month project is to firstly explore how clinical teachers assess undergraduate student clinical performance. Teachers will be asked to view a video of a real-life student-patient interaction and discuss how they graded that performance. This research project will then inform the development of an assessment skills module to be hosted online which will use video, interactive tutorials, reflective writing and podcasts.
Cork University Hospital, Kerry General Hospital, Galway University Hospitals, Beaumont Hospital, Waterford Regional Hospital.
National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) and RCSI

Development of a National Clinical Assessment Form for Physiotherapy Practice Education in Ireland

Research team
Dara Meldrum, Mary Loughnane, Lucy Alpine, Sinead McMahon, Mary O'Mahoney, Ciara Cassidy, Anne O’Connor, Susan Coote.
In response to the National Planning Groups' “Action framework for clinical placements in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language therapy” (DoHC 2004), members of Chartered Physiotherapists in Education (CPE) formed a sub group to consider the adoption of a Common Assessment Form (CAF) for assessing students from the four Higher Education Institutes (HEI’s: RCSI, TCD, UCD, UL) offering undergraduate degrees in Physiotherapy in the Republic of Ireland. The process culminated in a National clinical placement form being adopted by the four HEI's.
Schools of Physiotherapy: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Limerick and Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.
Coote S, Alpine L, Cassidy C, Loughnane M, McMahon S, Meldrum D, O'Connor A, O'Mahoney M. (2007) The development and evaluation of a common assessment form for physiotherapy practice education in Ireland. Physiotherapy Ireland 28, 2, 6-10

A Study to Investigate the Inter-Rater Reliability of Physiotherapy Educators in the Marking of the RCSI School of Physiotherapy Clinical Placement Assessment Form

Research team
Dara Meldrum, Anne-Marie Lydon, Mary Loughnane, Fiona Geary,  Laura Shanley, Karen Sayers, Elizabeth Shinnick, Denise Filan.
Project Description
The clinical education marks of RCSI physiotherapy students contribute 25% to their final degree mark. RCSI lecturers and clinical educators, using the Delphi method, developed a clinical assessment allow formal examination of student competency while on clinical placement. The competency based form allowed assessment of all areas of professional practice. Each competency was assessed by comparing student behavior to a list of expected behaviours that indicated competency. The aim of this multicentre study was to investigate inter-tester agreement on marks obtained when using the clinical assessment form.
Physiotherapy Departments: University College Hospital Galway, Kerry General Hospital Tralee, Waterford Regional Hospital, Cork University Hospital, Beaumont Hospital Dublin
Meldrum D, Lydon A , Loughnane M, Geary F,  Shanley L, Sayers K, Shinnick E, Filan D. (2008)Assessment of undergraduate physiotherapist clinical performance: investigation of educator inter-rater reliability Physiotherapy, 94:3: 212-219