Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in Supervision of Graduate Students

One of the most difficult things to do in supervising and/or instructing graduate students is evaluating their skills objectively. It is easy to observe rapport, set up of the learning space, development of the lesson plan, review of data collected and the student’s interpretation and analysis of this but much harder to quantify this.

I recently took an online course through Speech about supervision. The presenter, Shelley Victor, Ed.D, CCC-SLP,  in her course, Supervision and Critical Thinking,  suggested Bloom’s Taxonomy as a good foundation for questioning supervisees.

I use Bloom’s Taxonomy in my work with my clients and encourage its use by pre-service students in developing their lesson plans and questioning techniques. What it also has me contemplating is using this structure in having the students do some self-reflection of their skills.

Presently I begin our post clinic supervision discussion with the students telling me something that they feel went very well and something they would like to improve for the next time. Sometimes we do this with them first writing it down so that they can pause for reflection other times it is part of a conversation. The process of self-reflection is an important tool. By having this as a first step it allows me to see if they have the skills for self-reflection and critique and gives me an opportunity to evaluate their skills in self-analysis. If a student recognizes an error and gives me a solution they are very different than the student that misinterprets a client’s response or behavior or one that is stymied by what would be the next step.

So for example, a beginning clinician may be at the remember, understand level when working with a new diagnosis and may need my support in applying their clinical knowledge into a practical application. On the other hand, they may be very adept at another diagnosis and are able to take their knowledge of the diagnosis and the particular client’s strengths and needs and be able to not only evaluate the present levels and next steps but be able to create an individualized program of instruction that uniquely uses evidenced-based-practices.

By having this diagram and discussion of the levels of understanding I may be able to provide the appropriate supports and resources for the graduate student to allow them to continue to grow in their clinical practice. As the scope of a speech and language pathologist is so vast I may be able to have the students plot this out for either the various diagnoses, ages, group size or severity which would further pinpoint the need for further education, support, and experience.

Since I wrote this blog I have developed a pre-conference form that I designed and shared in Google Slides with my students. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in Clinical Evaluation Self-Assessment-w5kx6m 

I will update you on the outcomes as I have asked my students to also give me feedback on the process.

Have you used this in your clinical supervision?  What other tools do you use in your supervision?

If you are the supervisee, what have you found most helpful during your clinical supervision?

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