High quality clinical education is a fundamental component of undergraduate health-related professions programmes. Technological interventions offer potential to support and enhance student learning experiences during clinical placements, i.e. away from the university setting. This review aims to systematically explore, evaluate and summarise the range of technological strategies within the literature regarding support of the student learning experience during clinical placements. A systematic review was conducted using defined search terms, educational and medical subject headings (MeSH). Relevant databases were searched alongside hand searching of citations and grey literature. Experimental studies with technological strategies designed to support student learning during clinical placements were included. A modified version of Kirkpatrick's levels (Barr et al., Effective interprofessional education: Assumption, argument and evidence. Blackwell, 2005) was used to evaluate strategies. Twenty-one papers met inclusion criteria. Heterogeneity existed in terms of strategies and their usage e.g. whether synchronous or asynchronous; targeting individual students or groups A wide range of technological strategies may be employed to support the student learning experience during placements. However, none were identified as being of high quality therefore further research is required to provide stronger evidence to support their use. Consideration should be given to the underlying purpose of the strategy as well as the potential barriers for implementation e.g. acceptability and connectivity. Students should be clearly informed of strategy purpose and requirements, with opportunities to practice prior to placements. Review findings may provide insight to assist educators to develop future support strategies for students on clinical placements during challenging circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Kelly McCoo, Subject Assistant Librarian at Ulster University, for her guidance with refining search strategies and support with searches of relevant databases.
© 2022 The Authors. Review of Education published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Educational Research Association.
- clincial placements
- educational technology
- healthcare education
- student support
- clinical placements