Twelve tips for using the objective structured teaching exercise for faculty development

Med Teach. 2012;34(4):269-73. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.599891.


Background: The importance of faculty development to improve clinicians' teaching skills has been well articulated in the literature. There are few objective measures of the impact of faculty development on teaching skills. The objective structured teaching exercise (OSTE) is a faculty development tool that may meet this challenge. It also has great potential to be used in the development and enhancement of teaching skills. The OSTE consists of a simulated teaching scenario involving a standardized learner with objective and immediate feedback given to the teacher, and includes a pre-determined behaviourally based scale or checklist to assess teaching performance.

Aim: There is little information in the literature on the practical aspects of how to develop and deliver an OSTE in a faculty development context. Based on our experience, we created a framework to guide the use of the OSTE for faculty development.

Methods: Twelve tips for using the OSTE for faculty development are outlined in this article. These include: clarifying the goal and target audience, identifying what teaching skills to focus on, developing the scenario and the assessment tool, choosing and training the standardized learner, holding a dry run, protecting the teacher, integrating the OSTE into one's own context and promoting buy-in, and evaluating the activity.

Conclusions: The OSTE is a novel tool to enhance faculty development. We describe 12 key elements that are important for its successful development and delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Medicine / education*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Faculty, Medical / standards*
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Peer Group
  • Staff Development / methods*
  • Teaching / methods