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Development of a student rating scale to evaluate teachers’ competencies for facilitating reflective learning

Authors

  • Mirabelle A Schaub-de Jong,

    1. Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in Health Care and Nursing, Academy of Health Sciences, Hanze University Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • Johanna Schönrock-Adema,

    1. Center for Research and Innovation in Medical Education , University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • Hanke Dekker,

    1. Center for Research and Innovation in Medical Education , University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • Marian Verkerk,

    1. Center for Research and Innovation in Medical Education , University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • Janke Cohen-Schotanus

    1. Center for Research and Innovation in Medical Education , University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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Mirabelle A Schaub-de Jong, Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Academy of Health Sciences, Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in Health Care and Nursing, Hanze University Groningen, Groningen 9714 CE, the Netherlands. Tel: 00 31 50 363 7390; Fax: 00 31 50 363 7390; E-mail: m.a.schaub@home.nl

Abstract

Medical Education 2011: 45: 155–165

Context  Teaching students in reflection calls for specific teacher competencies. We developed and validated a rating scale focusing on Student perceptions of their Teachers’ competencies to Encourage Reflective Learning in small Groups (STERLinG).

Methods  We applied an iterative procedure to reduce an initial list of 241 items pertaining to teacher competencies to 47 items. Subsequently, we validated the instrument in two successive studies. In the first study, we invited 679 medical and speech and language therapy students to assess the teachers of their professional development groups with the STERLinG. Principal components analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used to investigate the internal structure of the instrument. In the second study, which involved 791 medical, dental, and speech and language therapy students, we performed a confirmatory factor analysis using the oblique multiple group (OMG) method to verify the original structure.

Results  In Study 1, 463 students (68%) completed the STERLinG. The PCA yielded three components: Supporting self-insight; Creating a safe environment, and Encouraging self-regulation. The final 36-item instrument explained 44.3% of the variance and displayed high reliability with α-values of 0.95 for the scale, and 0.91, 0.86 and 0.86 for the respective subscales. In Study 2, 501 students (63%) completed the STERLinG. The OMG confirmed the original structure of the STERLinG and explained 53.0% of the total variance with high α-values of 0.96 for the scale, and 0.94, 0.90 and 0.90 for the respective subscales.

Conclusions  The STERLinG is a practical and valid tool for gathering student perceptions of their teachers’ competencies to facilitate reflective learning in small groups considering its stable structure, the correspondence of the STERLinG structure with educational theories and the coverage of important domains of reflection. In addition, our study may provide a theoretical framework for the practice of and research into reflective learning.

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