Educational research projects

MCSHE has numerous health professions education research projects currently underway.  Here, we showcase just a few:

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning and teaching in health professional education: A mixed methods study

Globally, the cessation of face-to-face interactions for formal and informal learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed online education and distance learning to the forefront of the political agenda. Health professional education has traditionally been supported through classroom-based teaching and work-integrated learning. The pandemic has forced health professional courses to exclusive delivery through online education, the impact of this change to teaching and learning is largely unknown.

This study aims to evaluate the impact of the changes to teaching and learning approaches, including online education and changes to work-integrated learning in selective courses in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A framework developed by our faculty in a previous study (Palermo et al 2018) on the factors that contribute to health professions student learning outcomes will be used to guide the evaluation. A range of data sources will be used including student assessment, student evaluation of teaching, student and teacher survey, and longitudinal interviews/focus groups with students and teachers. This study will provide evidence on feasibility, benefits, shortcomings and economic impact of the different types of initiatives introduced during the pandemic and provide guidance to shape the health professional education in the post-pandemic world.


Realist evaluation of clinical supervision training for Victorian health and human services workforce

Funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (VicDHHS), MCSHE are partnering with Turning Point and Monash Rural Health to provide clinical supervision training to frontline health and human services workers in Victoria and to evaluate the training.

This project is part of the VicDHHS Ice Action Plan to upskill frontline workers who are exposed to ice-affected patients and clients. As part of this project a realist evaluation approach is being applied.  Realist approaches aim to determine what works for whom under what circumstances and why. We have completed a realist synthesis of clinical supervision training interventions and are conducting a realist evaluation of clinical supervision training workshops involving program developers, workshop facilitators and participants. This evaluation also includes a 3-month longitudinal audio diary study exploring the impact of both short- and extended-duration supervision training programs on supervisory knowledge, attitude and practice.

The realist synthesis has been published - Rees, C.E., Lee, S.L., Huang, E. et al. Supervision training in healthcare: a realist synthesis. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-019-09937-x) and data collection for these evaluations is complete and data analysis in progress.


Exploring graduate student preparedness for practice

MCSHE is currently undertaking research to explore the preparedness for practice journeys of Monash healthcare graduates. 35 final-year students from four health professions (dietetics, medicine, nursing and pharmacy) were recruited to the study. Qualitative data is being collected and analysed across three time points (entrance interviews, weekly audio-diaries and exit interviews) to understand participants' experiences of transition to work over time and perceptions of their preparedness for practice. The findings of this study will help to identify what the Faculty can do to better prepare healthcare graduates for their first year of work as new practitioners.

This research is funded by a 2019 Faculty Learning & Teaching Research Grant.


Role of health professions’ accreditation standards in facilitating outcome-based education

Accreditation of health professions programs should produce health professional graduates the country and community needs, to improve health services and systems and population health. MCSHE is currently undertaking research to explore the extent to which accreditation systems for health professions courses are supporting the development of graduates who are ready and safe to practice upon completion of their courses. We will analyse accreditation standards for health professions programs delivered across the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and interview staff about their experiences of accreditation. The findings will highlight how well the current accreditation systems support preparation of work-ready graduates and contribute to identifying key efficiencies and improvements with current accreditation processes within the Faculty.