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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