Mentoring Students and Evaluating Performance

Module 3

The knowledge base and instrumentation in an audiology course is challenging to even the very brightest students. Just as students begin to grasp some of the intellectual content of a course, they are confronted with a real client. At that point, they need to use empathic, caring, collaborative communication skills to practice good technical competence.

Clinical supervisors play an important part in helping audiology students develop both the technical and the communication skills required to practice successfully in a person-centered way. One important way this is done is by modeling; however, when a student observes a clinical supervisor engaging in excellent communication skills, how do they recognize what specific behaviors are responsible for that good communication, how to reproduce those skills, and then transfer them to another situation? This is where clinical supervisors  can act as experienced mentors to guide and advise students on how and when to apply different approaches and skill sets.

In this section, you can hear a clinical supervisor and lecturer talk about her experience as a clinical supervisor for audiology students. You will find some tools to help evaluate student performance as it relates to communication skills and person-centered care. 

Alice Holmes: Golden Rules

Alice Holmes talks about some golden rules for mentoring audiology students and provides examples of how she has evaluated student performance in clinical settings. Holmes is a professor at the College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, and has been a clinical supervisor for over 28 years. 

Assess Delivery of the 5A's Template

Providing students with timely feedback can be difficult in a busy clinic; appointments can take longer when students are involved. Additionally, when one client leaves, the next client is already in the waiting room.

This simple checklist can help you document student behaviors in real-time. It consists of five boxes with prompts (the 5A’s) and a small space for notes. The checklist can be handed to the student directly after the consultation. This provides the student immediate feedback for reflection. Alternatively, it can be kept by the clinician as a memory log to help with a feedback and goal-setting exercise later in the day when there is sufficient time. 

Download the Ida Institute's adaptation of the 5A’s assessment template on its own or the full article on assessing delivery of the 5A’s below.

Audiologic Counseling Evaluation (ACE)

This assessment sheet is specifically for assessing the skills involved with informing parents that their child has a significant hearing loss.  The evaluation is structured to follow the natural flow of a real appointment.

The evaluation divides the appointment into seven sections and specifies groups of desired outcomes for each section. Suggestions are given for good communication behaviors to achieve these outcomes. Space is available for the clinical supervisor to note individual behaviors used in a specific situation. The student/developing clinician is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 for each outcome, with totals given for each part of the appointment. This allows a student or developing clinician to monitor his or her own progress and to identify successes and areas that need more work.