Benefits and Drawbacks of learner handover: A Scoping Review

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Mehvish Shahid


Introduction: Learner Handover (LH), modeled after Patient Handover Protocols, is the act of collecting data regarding different aspects of student performance, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses so that it can be presented to future teachers as an added aide in planning their teaching activities. It has recently gained popularity due to its application in Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME). This scoping review aimed to consolidate current knowledge regarding the usage, benefits, and drawbacks of Learner Handover and to highlight areas for future research.
Method: The Arksey and O’Malley framework was used to systematically select and summarize the literature available. Articles relevant to Medical Education were selected from searches of two databases and one search engine. Only articles published after 2017 to ensure the most recent developments were accounted for. Data were analyzed thematically and quantitatively.
Results: Out of the 12 articles reviewed, 46% usage of the Learner Handover revolved around smoothening out the UGME-PGME transition. 39% of studies focused on the assessment of students and talked about the use of Learner Handover as a teaching aid. The most common benefits were a) Tailored Learning Environment, b) Programme Preparedness, and Improved Patient Safety whereas the drawbacks most mentioned revolved around a) Generation of bias, b) Resource intensiveness, and c) Breach of confidentiality.
Conclusion: Learner Handover is a multifaceted process that provides performance information to future faculty, establishing a continuum that can map out the longitudinal improvements of medical students. However, there are major drawbacks – like the generation of academic bias and breach of confidentiality - that need to be controlled. Additional research is needed to fully understand the efficacy of the benefits and the extent of the drawbacks. However, in the Competency-Based Educational Model, a well-designed Handover Protocol may prove integral.


KEYWORDS: Learner Handover, Competency-Based Medical Education, Prior Performance Indicators, Forward Feeding

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How to Cite
Shahid, M. (2021). Benefits and Drawbacks of learner handover: A Scoping Review. Health Professions Educator Journal, 4(2), 37-43.