• Impact of a personal learning plan supported by an induction meeting on academic performance in undergraduate Obstetrics and Gynaecology: a cluster randomised controlled trial

      Deane, Richard P; Murphy, Deirdre J; Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Trinity College (BioMed Central, 2015)
      BACKGROUND: A personal learning plan (PLP) is an approach to assist medical students maximise their learning experience within clinical rotations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether medical students who created a PLP supported by an induction meeting had an improved academic performance within an undergraduate clinical rotation. METHODS: A cluster randomised controlled study was conducted over a full academic year (2012/13). The intervention was the creation of a PLP by medical students supported by an individual 'one-to-one' induction meeting between each student and a faculty member. Randomisation was by unit of rotation in which students completed the program. There were 2 clusters in the intervention group (n = 71 students) and 2 clusters in the control group (n = 72 students). Primary outcome was the overall examination score. Secondary outcomes were student attendance and student evaluation. RESULTS: There was no difference in overall examination score between the intervention group and control group (mean score 56.3 ± 4.8% versus 56.7 ± 5.6%, p = 0.64). The majority of students in the intervention group (n = 51/71, 85%) reported that the PLP and induction meeting enhanced their learning experience. Attendance at the induction meeting was identified as a key element. CONCLUSIONS: The creation of a PLP supported by an induction meeting was rated highly by students as an approach to enhance their learning experience but did not result in an improved academic performance. Further research is required to establish the role of an interim or exit meeting.