Measuring the quality of occupational therapy students’ interviewing skills.
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Introduction: Interviewing is an occupational therapy skill that is rich in dynamic and qualitative detail. However, the teaching and assessment of students’ performance in this key skill is often either left to examiner judgement, or reduced to component skills.Objectives: To develop and evaluate a robust assessment rubric to measure the skilfulness of occupational therapy stu-dents’ interview performance.Method: We reviewed the outcomes of a viva assessment in which students (n=249) interviewed a standardised patient and were scored on a skills checklist and then awarded stand-ard grades (pass, credit, etc.). Based on Rasch analyses of student outcomes, we iteratively re- developed the assessment rubric to focus on the quality of performance. After piloting a revised rubric using modelled data and scoring video re-cordings of student examinations, we used it to assess a new cohort of students (n=235) and repeated the analyses.Results: Checklists alone proved inadequate to evaluate students’ performance directly or to support examiners’ judgements of quality among skilled performance beyond the pass level. The rich detail in the revised rubric proved feasible and resulted in vastly improved statistical measures of both reliability and range of measurement in the examination.Conclusion: We successfully developed a novel examination rubric that, for students and educators, provides an empirically supported yet rich, qualitative description of occupational therapy interviewing skills at a range of levels. This builds directly on prior work in defining interviewing skills to offer a quantifiable hierarchy of qualitative interviewing skills to inform student instruction as well as assessment and feedback
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