We have developed and evaluated an innovative way to assess midwifery students' clinical skills.
Otago Polytechnic's midwifery students can learn off campus, meeting once a week in a cluster group with their tutor but otherwise undertaking their studies online. In the past the first year students have had to physically attend for the practical assessment of their clinical midwifery skills, so that an assessor could watch them. Having to travel was inconvenient and costly for the students.
So in 2012 our School of Midwifery introduced a new type of assessment developed by Senior Lecturer Carolyn McIntosh, Dr Jean Patterson and other staff. In their tutor groups the students video each other demonstrating their practice in a given scenario. One student is under assessment, another acts the part of the woman, and a third does the videoing. Each student critiques their own midwifery skills, then uploads their self-assessment with the video. Lecturers then moderate the video and self-assessment, so the student no longer has to be physically present with the assessor.
Since then Carolyn McIntosh, Jean Patterson, and Suzanne Miller have undertaken research to evaluate the new video-based assessment model. The assessment model was found to be effective, and some opportunities to streamline the process were identified, to help the students with the videoing and uploading.
Carolyn has now presented this assessment model, and the evaluation of it, at many different conferences and symposia. The use of video-based assessment is not limited to the assessment of practical midwifery skills, and the model has attracted a great deal of interest. After presenting at one research forum Carolyn was invited to speak with AUT's midwifery lecturers, and AUT has since introduced video-based assessment as an option for midwifery students.