This paper discusses a trial of the use of CompTracker© – an online platform used to link the student, preceptor and academic in a time sensitive manner during student clinical placement – within a cohort of 330 first and second year paramedic students studying at an Australian university. CompTracker© allows for preceptors to identify and assess clinical competencies, and for the student to reflect after each case is completed on placement. The tool was initially piloted, and then remodeled on several attempts to improve its overall functionality and relevance for the placement learning experience. The study aims to educate and inform other health disciplines that may have an interest in using online tools for competency tracking and education in diverse workplaces.
Multiple surveys were conducted over a 3-year period, using both Likert 5-point scales and open-ended questions, to evaluate 330 first and second year students’ and 261 preceptors’ experiences.
Of the 54 student responses, 92% felt the tool was useful and 67% felt it was easy to use. Within the preceptor results, 63 ± 2% preferred CompTracker© over traditional paper-based methods.
CompTracker© can be used to support students and preceptors in clinical placement. The flexibility of this online tool makes it adaptable to most clinical workplaces, and should be considered in any workplace that requires the use of competency-based clinical assessment and used in place of traditional paper-based portfolios.
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