Supporting students on clinical placement and facilitating early intervention using mobile assessment technology

In this blog post, we talk about tracking student performance and how mobile assessment technology can help staff have the insight to intervene early and support students on placement who are performing poorly or at risk of failure.

Providing ongoing support and delivering quality feedback are essential in enhancing the student experience, especially for those who are out on placement and struggle to maintain regular contact with their tutors. In order to provide the right level of support, it’s important for educators to be able to track student performance and progress so they can ‘intervene’ at an earlier stage, should a student demonstrate that they are beginning to struggle.

Whilst it may be easier to track overall performance, with paper-based or even some digital assessment processes it can often be a challenge to identify specific areas where a student isn’t performing well when out on placement.  Without clear visibility of student performance, it is unlikely that educators will be able to intervene early enough and provide the necessary level of guidance to help get the students back on track.

What is early intervention?

Early intervention is identifying and providing effective support to students early enough to make a difference, helping them improve their overall performance. Specifically in medicine and health sciences, early intervention has gone on to show many benefits including:

  • Reducing student attrition rates, resulting in financial retention and an increase in the number of graduating practitioners supporting our national healthcare system
  • Students are better supported whilst on placement in challenging clinical settings, thus improving the overall student experience and satisfaction
  • Overall standard of care and patient safety is improved thanks to real-time visibility of which areas a student requires support in and how urgent.

In a recent case study, Anglia Ruskin University School of Nursing & Midwifery were able to demonstrate how early intervention has had a positive impact on their student attrition rate. After using Myprogress for mobile practice assessment, they were able to track student progress and provide early support to those students at risk of failing.  As a result, over a 5 year period they were able to reduce their student attrition rate from over 20% to 2.5% at their Cambridge campus, which Myprogress was a positive contributor to. Against a national average attrition rate of 24% in student nurses, the improved attrition rates at Anglia Ruskin has profound benefits, helping combat the shortfall of nurses across the NHS, of which there are currently 41,000 vacancies across England1.

To learn more, read the full case study here. >

How does mobile assessment technology help facilitate early intervention?

Mobile assessment technology not only acts as a log for students to record their assessments, evaluations, direct observations and more, but also as an online communication tool between the student, assessor and tutor.  With Myprogress this is supported with the ability to carry out assessments completely offline with a mobile device, ensuring assessment and feedback is always carried out in the heat of the moment, in a timely way. 

By providing real-time insight into student performance and being able to break that information down to see beyond overall performance into specific areas, supporting staff can easily see where a student is performing badly, what support is required and how urgently.

Specific areas where mobile assessment technology can support early intervention includes:

  • Through the provision of quality, timely feedback, students are able to take ownership of their learning journey without the need for staff intervention, as they are able to easily identify gaps in their knowledge and drive their own progress.
  • Offline mobile assessment means students are able to be assessed more frequently, and in the moment. With this in mind, feedback and tracking of performance is likely to be more accurate and reliable, making early intervention more efficient and effective.   
  • Through gathering assessment data in a digital format, faculty can review progress online, at any time, and with more granularity, gaining a deeper insight into performance within specific areas and allowing them to take action effectively.
  • Staff can be more effective when visiting students on placement as real-time visibility of student progress enables staff to optimise travel time and costs, prepare for meetings in advance, as well as deliver better placement support as a result.

If you would like more information on how Myprogress supports tracking of student performance and progress whilst on placement and helped to facilitate early intervention, get in touch with the team for a 1-2-1 consultation or demonstration. 


1 - Buchan, J., Charlesworth, A., Gershick, B., Seccombe, I. (2019) A Critical moment: NHS staffing trends, retention and attrition, p.p 3