Writing Narrative Comments

We need your comments on student assessments! Be specific and use examples.

Comments from you are used in these ways:

  • Comments provide details about student performance
  • Provide support for high marks and occasional low marks you might give to students
  • By you in your letters of recommendation for the student
  • In the dean’s letter that is written by FIU for the student’s residency application
  • One useful framework for writing narrative comments is the BOSS Method
    • BO stands for Brief Observation - write a detail that you observed, that is specific. Use neutral, objective language and action verbs.
    • S stands for Significance - Why is this Brief Observation significant for the learner? Link the Brief Observation to the Significance. Another way to think of this is how do you judge the detail that you observed.
    • S stands for Suggestions - What do you suggest for the learner for the next steps in their growth?

Here are some examples of useful narrative comments:

  • The student’s presentations were organized, concise and included all relevant information. Her differential diagnoses included can’t miss and most likely diagnoses for RUQ abdominal pain; she is a solid interpreter and for moving into manager stage.
  • He has a gentle, kind energy that allows him to build excellent rapport easily with patients, including a patient with schizophrenia and another with intellectual delay. He demonstrates equanimity even in difficult situations such as patients upset about STI diagnoses.
  • The student had excellent rapport with patients from any culture (including patients from Pakistan, Haiti, and Peru). Was able to provide strong patient education to all patients, such as those with less education and from difficult cultures, checking understanding consistently with ask, tell, ask.

Here are examples of High Quality Narrative Comments about:

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