Face-to-face versus remote synchronous instruction for the teaching of single-interrupted suturing to a group of undergraduate paramedic students: a randomised controlled trial


  • Mark Garratt Staffordshire University


remote instruction, synchronous, online education, video conferencing, psychomotor skills, clinical skills, web conferencing, paramedic


This post-test randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed to explore whether readily accessible videoconferencing technology can be used to effectively teach a complex psychomotor skill (in this case single-interrupted suturing) to a group of undergraduate paramedic students who have no prior experience of the technique, and to ascertain whether there is any difference in performance between a group taught via this method, and a group taught via traditional face-to-face (F2F) methods. Despite a small sample size (n24), findings suggest that this process of instruction may be effective, and that participant performance will be at least as good as a group taught via F2F methods. The design of this study allows a degree of confidence when generalising from these results; incorporating a skill which is unfamiliar to all participants; experiential equivalence within and between both groups; and the adoption of validated objective assessment criteria. Participant opinion was also explored in relation to this method of instruction. Should such online synchronous methods of instruction prove viable, they will allow a greater opportunity for clinicians to access training which requires the acquisition of complex psychomotor skills.