Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P440-447, September 2020

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Midwifery Student Evaluation of Practice: The MidSTEP tool — Perceptions of clinical learning experiences

Published:October 23, 2019DOI:



      Little emphasis has been given to the standardised measurement of midwifery students’ perceptions of their clinical learning experiences.


      To develop a tool that evaluates students’ perceptions of their clinical learning experiences according to environment and impact of preceptors on professional development.


      A cross-sectional design was used. Tool development had three phases: item generation; expert review to assess clarity, apparent internal consistency and content validity; and psychometric testing. All Bachelor of Midwifery students at one university in Australia were invited to complete the online survey. Psychometric testing included dimensionality, internal consistency and test-retest reliability.


      A 74% (n = 279) response rate was achieved. Factor analysis revealed the Clinical Learning Environment Scale and Impact of the Midwifery Preceptor Scale accounting for 53.6% and 71.5% of variance respectively. Both scales were reliable (Cronbach’s alpha = .92 and .94) and valid. Overall, students positively rated the clinical learning environment and preceptors’ abilities to foster their sense of identity as a midwife. Students were less satisfied with preceptors’ understanding of the academic program.


      The new tool consists of two scales that reliably measure midwifery students’ perceptions of how the clinical learning environment develops their skills and reflects a midwifery philosophy. Preceptors had a positive influence on students’ skills and professional development.


      The Midwifery Student Evaluation of Practice tool is the first valid and reliable measure of students’ perceptions of their clinical learning experiences. Students’ feedback provides valuable information to educators and preceptors on how best to optimise clinical learning.


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