Assessing self-regulatory processes during clinical skill performance: A pilot study

Timothy J. Cleary, John Sandars*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a cyclical process involving the proactive use of strategies and feedback to optimise performance. Previous research has used SRL microanalysis to assess and inform the training of athletic skills but there has been no previous research in clinical contexts. Aims: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the use SRL microanalysis to assess the regulatory profiles of students who were successful and unsuccessful in a venipuncture task. Method: A SRL microanalysis protocol was administered to seven 3rd-year undergraduate medical students whilst they performed a venipuncture on a simulation mannequin arm. Results: The use of SRL microanalytic questions had good inter-rater reliability. Students who were successful in venipuncture had high levels of strategic thinking before, during and after the clinical task, whereas the students who struggled on this task tended to focus on outcomes. Conclusions: The results shown in this study mirror the findings from previous research using SRL microanalysis. SRL microanalysis has strong potential as a structured assessment technique targeting the self-regulatory processes underlying clinical skill performance. Further research is recommended, especially on how the assessment of self-regulatory skills can be used to guide training for struggling students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e368-e374
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2011


  • clinical skill performance


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