Background: Feedback is important in learning, including in workplace-based assessments.
Aim: To explore trainee's perceptions of the educational value of case-based discussions (CBDs) specifically focusing on feedback.
Methods: An online questionnaire and interviews obtaining detailed descriptions of paediatric trainees at UK specialist training levels 1 and 2 views and experiences were used. Qualitative data were analysed using a thematic framework analysis.
Results: Trainees viewed CBDs as educationally valuable, aiding reflective learning, improving decision making skills and effecting a change in practice. Opinions varied regarding how useful they found the feedback. Feedback was perceived as more valuable from assessors who had a positive attitude towards CBDs, understood the process and had experience in leading them. Time constraints and assessments performed in less suitable environments had a negative impact on feedback. Trainees felt the choice of case played an important role, with challenging cases resulting in more beneficial feedback.
Conclusions: CBD assessments provide a new opportunity for good quality learning and feedback, providing there is a commitment to the educational aspects of the process by both trainer and trainee. Trainers being aware of the qualities of the discussions that result in successful feedback, could significantly improve their educational value.