Publication Details

Hills, C., Levett-Jones, T., Warren-Forward, H. & Lapkin, S. (2016). Generation Y occupational therapy students' views and preferences about the provision of feedback during clinical practice education. Focus on Health Professional Education, 17 (2), 32-47.


Introduction: Feedback is central to students' learning whilst on practice education and has been identified by students as one aspect of quality placements. Generation Y students have been reported as preferring praise during feedback, and in occupational therapy, students classified as Generation Y have been reported as having difficulty accepting critical feedback in practice education. This study aimed to seek one group of Generation Y students' views and preferences in regards to quality feedback during practice education. Method: After ethical approval, students from one occupational therapy program in an Australian university were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview to explore their learning preferences regarding feedback during practice education. Results: Twenty-two student interviews were completed. After thematic analysis, four themes were generated: "feedback is important for student learning", "student preferences on the provision of feedback", "when to provide feedback" and "the role of the team in providing feedback". Conclusion: Participants reported that feedback should be regular and consistent as it is important for insight into their level of proficiency. Immediate explicit feedback was highly valued when it identified areas for improvement and was preferred to praise, this being contrary to the purported preference of Generation Y students. Participants also valued protected supervision time for feedback, feedback from the multidisciplinary team and an opportunity to self-evaluate prior to receiving feedback. Recommendations are made for methods and approaches to feedback that would be informative to clinical practice educators and those who deliver preparatory courses for clinical educators in universities.