Background: The World Health Organisation amongst others recognises the need for the introduction of clinical supervision education in health professional education as a central strategy for improving patient safety and patient care. Online and blended learning methods are growing exponentially in use in higher education and the systematic evaluation of these methods will aid understanding of how best to teach clinical supervision. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test whether undergraduate nursing students who received clinical supervisee skills training via a blended learning approach would score higher in terms of motivation and attitudes towards clinical supervision, knowledge of clinical supervision and satisfaction of learning method, when compared to those students who received an online only teaching approach. Design: A post-test-only randomised controlled trial. Methods: Participants were a total of 122 pre-registration nurses enrolled at one United Kingdom university, randomly assigned to the online learning control group (n = 60) or the blended learning intervention group (n = 62). The blended learning intervention group participated in a face-to-face tutorial and the online clinical supervisee skills training app. The online learning control group participated in an online discussion forum and the same online clinical supervisee skills training app. The outcome measures were motivation and attitudes using the modified Manchester Clinical Supervision Scale, knowledge using a 10 point Multiple Choice Questionnaire and satisfaction using a university training evaluation tool. Statistical analysis was performed using independent t-tests to compare the differences between the means of the control group and the intervention group. Thematic analysis was used to analyse responses to open-ended questions. Results: All three of our study hypotheses were confirmed. Participants who received clinical supervisee skills training via a blended learning approach scored higher in terms of motivation and attitudes – mean (m) = 85.5, standard deviation (sd) = 9.78, number of participants (n) = 62 – compared to the online group (m = 79.5, sd = 9.69, n = 60) (p =.001). The blended learning group also scored higher in terms of knowledge (m = 4.2, sd = 1.43, n = 56) compared to the online group (m = 3.51, sd = 1.51, n = 57) (p =.015); and in terms of satisfaction (m = 30.89, sd = 6.54, n = 57) compared to the online group (m = 26.49, sd = 6.93, n = 55) (p =.001). Qualitative data supported results. Conclusion: Blended learning provides added pedagogical value when compared to online learning in terms of teaching undergraduate nurses clinical supervision skills. The evidence is timely given worldwide calls for expanding clinical skills supervision in undergraduate health professional education to improve quality of care and patient safety.
McCutcheon, K., O’Halloran, P., & Lohan, M. (2018). Online learning versus blended learning of clinical supervisee skills with pre-registration nursing students: A randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 82, 30–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.02.005