Feedback on oral presentations during pediatric clerkships: A randomized controlled trial

Colin M. Sox, Michael Dell, Carrie A. Phillipi, Howard J. Cabral, Gabriela Vargas, Linda O. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To measure the effects of participating in structured oral presentation evaluation sessions early in pediatric clerkships on students' subsequent presentations. METHODS: We conducted a single-blind, 3-arm, cluster randomized controlled trial during pediatric clerkships at Boston University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Blocks of students at each school were randomly assigned to experience either (1) no formal presentation feedback (control) or a small-group presentation feedback session early in pediatric clerkships in which students gave live presentations and received feedback from faculty who rated their presentations by using a (2) single-item (simple) or (3) 18-item (detailed) evaluation form. At the clerkship end, overall quality of subjects' presentations was rated by faculty blinded to randomization status, and subjects reported whether their presentations had improved. Analyses included multivariable linear and logistic regressions clustered on clerkship block that controlled for medical school. RESULTS: A total of 476 participants were evenly divided into the 3 arms, which had similar characteristics. Compared with controls, presentation quality was significantly associated with participating in detailed (coefficient: 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.07-0.69) but not simple (coefficient: 0.16; 95% CI: -0.12-0.43) feedback sessions. Similarly, student self-report of presentation improvement was significantly associated with participating in detailed (odds ratio: 2.16; 95% CI: 1.11-4.18] but not simple (odds ratio: 1.89; 95% CI: 0.91-3.93) feedback sessions. CONCLUSIONS: Small-group presentation feedback sessions led by faculty using a detailed evaluation form resulted in clerkship students delivering oral presentations of higher quality compared with controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-971
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Medical education
  • Oral presentation
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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