Supporting and assessing students: your role

Supporting students in practice requires the use of a humanistic approach to the education of adults where the practice teacher/mentor's role is one of facilitation.

They facilitate students moving from observation to supported practice to practice under supervision. They also enable students to move back to observation in order to revisit aspects of knowledge and skills.

The practice teacher/mentor uses the framework of observation, supported practice, and practice under supervision to structure teaching and learning, which involves:

  • observation: designed for students with limited community experience as well as the analysis of the student's needs
  • supported practice: working alongside a practice teacher or mentor
  • supervision: working with a structured caseload receiving regular supervision meetings with the practice teacher or mentor

To assess students the sign-off practice teacher, with feedback and assistance from the trainee practice teacher or mentor, will:

  • develop a learning contract in partnership with the student
  • facilitate practice experience
  • focus attention on the specialist knowledge, theories, principles, models and skills
  • act as a sound role model
  • monitor the student's progress in practice on a fortnightly basis to explore growing competency
  • assess the student's practice and reflect on the use of Personal and Professional Attributes in practice
  • hold and record fortnightly supervision with the SCPHN student in order to assess the practice element of each module
  • identify concerns and work with University staff in developing and implementing an action plan
  • sign-off students as competent to practice summatively on completion of specific modules and at the end of the SCPHN programme
  • work in conjunction with student practice teachers and mentors to provide an appropriate learning experience

The assessment process must contain the following stages:

  • induction
  • the initial meeting
  • formulation of learning contracts and action plans
  • grading against the interpersonal skills profile
  • reflection on the service user views
  • the formative assessment
  • the summative assessment

The document below outlines the interpersonal skills assessment:

Supporting the failing student
Occasionally, students do not meet the required standard and it is necessary to fail them. In this event, it is important that students know why they have not met the pass criteria and that they have been given an opportunity to improve at the formative stage.

It is, therefore, essential to:

  • have robust and transparent processes in place
  • investigate why your student may be having difficulties
  • compile comprehensive documentation as evidence
  • use support networks (see Supporting Mentors and Students in Practice)
  • pick up problems early
  • use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, (SMART) objectives
  • set clear review dates
  • make clear action plans