Effective training in giving feedback on clinical skills

Tropical Medical Training (TMT) is a General Practice training organisation based in Townsville with learners all over Far North Queensland. External clinical teaching visits (ECTV) are a key component of the workplace training model for GP’s. They provide formative assessment and give the learners the opportunity to benchmark their performance based on feedback. The visits are a 3 hour session with an experienced GP from another practice. The visitor ‘sits in’, or observes the GP registrar during consultations and provides feedback at the end of each consultation. At the end of the session the visitor prepares a written report and rates the registrar’s performance.

TMT services the whole of Far North Queensland; this is a vast area that is more than areas of NSW and Victoria combined. Travel for training is often just not possible or practical. TMT needed a more flexible solution for training new ECT visitors and refreshing the skills of existing visitors. One of the challenges of the rating system used by TMT is how different visitors interpret the ratings and the required levels of performance. Providing feedback that enhances learning is also a complex interpersonal skill.



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    Our solution

    Sprout Labs developed a highly interactive, sophisticated learning experience that provides learners with examples of best practice and opportunities to practice.

    The module does not need to be navigated in a linear way. It starts with questions that allows for different learners to focus on what they need, eg if a learner is an experienced ECT visitor and they just want to revise the report writing skills they can jump to that section.



    The module makes extensive use of video. Feedback models are introduced during interactive interviews with experts where the learners choose which questions they would like to ask.

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    Examples of how to give feedback are provides as video segments.

    After watching video of a consultation the learner has the opportunity to practice rating and report writing and compare their responses to model answers.




    Learners watch a consultation and then practice giving feedback using a branching, ‘choose your own adventure’ style interaction. This allows for learning in an experiential way.

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    The module is built in Sprout Labs’ Content management system Glasshouse. Technically it is HTML based and works across desktops, tablets and phones. TMT staff are able to update the resource.


The learning model also includes a follow up Virtual Classroom session with new ECT visitors to answer questions.

TMT have a solution that overcomes the problems of training and supporting new ECT visitors across a huge region. It is flexible and allows for onboarding of single new ECT visitors and provides affordable refresher trainer for existing ECT visitors. The learning design is effective, active and allows for the practice of new skills in a safe environment.