Introduction: Medical students on an emergency medicine rotation are traditionally evaluated at the end of each shift with paper-based forms, and data are often missing due to forms not being turned in or completed. Because students’ grades depend on these evaluations, change was needed to increase form rate of return. We analyzed a new electronic evaluation form and modified completion process to determine if it would increase the completion rate without altering how faculty scored student performance.
Methods: During fall 2013, 29 faculty completed paper N=339 evaluations consisting of seven competencies for 33 students. In fall 2014, an electronic evaluation form with the same competencies was designed using an electronic platform and completed N=319 times by 27 faculty using 25 students’electronic devices. Feedback checkboxes were added to facilitate collection of common comments. Data was analyzed with IBM® SPSS® 21.0 using multi-factor analysis of variance with the students’ globalrating (GR) as an outcome. Inter-item reliability was determined with Cronbach alpha.
Results: There was a significantly higher completion rate (p=0.001) of 98% electronic vs. 69% paperforms, lower (p=0.001) missed GR rate (1% electronic. vs 12% paper), and higher mean scores(p=0.001) for the GR with the electronic (7.0±1.1) vs. paper (6.8±1.2) form. Feedback check boxes were completed on every form. The inter-item reliability for electronic and paper forms was each alpha=0.95.
Conclusion: The use of a new electronic form and modified completion process for evaluating students at the end of shift demonstrated a higher faculty completion rate, a lower missed data rate, a higher global rating and consistent collection of common feedback. The use of the electronic form and the process for obtaining the information made our end-of-shift evaluation process for students more reliable and provided more accurate, up-to-date information for student feedback and when determining student grades.