MNHS: Comparative report

How to write an iSAP comparative report

This resource is designed to assist you in completing your Comparative Report [CR] for Integrating Science and Practice [iSAP] assessment tasks. iSAP assessment tasks are interactive case studies based on realistic clinical scenarios that immerse students in authentic clinical experiences. They require the application of critical and reflective thinking to challenging scenarios which address relationships between diagnostic modalities, disease and clinical presentations, and behavioural/fitness to practice. The task will require the development of a Clinical Action Plan [CAP] detailing a response to the scenario, an Expert Response [ER], and a Comparative Report [CR] prompting reflective analysis of the CAP and ER.

For the CR task you are asked to:

...systematically compare your Student Response with the Expert Response, and in the process, reflect upon and demonstrate your learning outcomes.

By working through this resource, you will have an improved understanding of the reflective process required to complete this task. These reflective skills are transferable, and can be used when completing similar future assessments.

Reflective Practice

Reflection is an important part of evidence based practice in Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. The reflective process enables you to evaluate and change your practice based on most recent information - whether that comes from new research findings, new government or organisational policies, or new patient or client experiences. By reflecting on your experiences, you will improve your ability to think critically as a health professional (Howard, 2019).

The comparative report is not simply about comparing your student response to the expert response and pointing out what you missed.

Instead, it is about considering why your response was different. This requires you to reflect on your health care practice, by considering how the differences you identify have deepened your understanding of the issues involved.

This needs to be reflected in your writing. One common method, known as Gibbs' Reflective Cycle (Bassot, 2016), is to analyse and reflect on a situation, including your feelings, in five or six steps. The following video is a good introduction to reflection using this approach.

An introduction to reflective writing

Another approach to reflection is the Driscoll Model (Bassot, 2016). This approach requires you to answer three questions:

  • What? When considering "what?" you ask questions that allow you to identify the key elements of the experience or situation.
  • So what? The "so what?" questions allow you to analyse and better understand the meaning and implications of the situation to yourself and others.
  • Now what? Asking "now what?" questions allows you to identify what you could or should do in similar situations in the future.

Now that you have an idea of what the reflective process looks like, let's consider how this applies to your task. The purpose of the comparative report is for you to use the comparison of your work with the expert example as a learning opportunity. That means, focusing on the ways in which the expert example can change, challenge or reinforce your understanding of the issues involved. The instructions for your comparative report require you to break your reflection into three parts - comparison, reflection on learning, and implications for practice.

The reflective writing resource provides further information on this process.

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