This program evaluation project evaluated the validity of a hypothesized model for predicting fieldwork performance using data of 121 occupational therapy students from a single university. The first aim was to evaluate the hypothesized relationships between observed measures (e.g., admission GPAs) and proposed latent factors (e.g., academic achievement) for predictor and outcome variables. Factor analysis of the outcome variable revealed a three-factor structure, measured by 13 items from the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student. However, factor analyses of the predictor variables did not support the proposed latent factors: Academic Achievement and Professional Potential. The second aim was to evaluate the hypothesized effects of predictor variables on level II fieldwork performance. Results of the structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis supported some of the hypothesized relationships. The model was a good fit to the data; however, the final SEM model only accounted for 16.4% of the variance. Results showed that four of the eight observed variables were predictive. Two academic measures (i.e., admission overall GPA and science GPA) and two non-academic measures (i.e., Myer’s Briggs Thinking type indicator and number of observation hours) demonstrated small predictive relationships with Evaluation Skills. Admission overall GPA and thinking type indicator had positive predictive relationships; whereas, admission science GPA and number of hours had inverse relationships. None of the observed variables predicted the other two fieldwork performance factors: Professional Behaviors and Intervention Skills. Although the results of this project did not fully support the hypothesized model, some interesting findings emerged for future exploration.
Sandra Whisner, OTR, PhD is an assistant professor and program director of the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX. She specializes in occupation-based psychosocial interventions for youth and adults. She earned her PhD in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University.
Matthew Geddie, OTR, PhD is an assistant professor in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas. He has expertise in student admissions and fieldwork processes. He earned his PhD in Family and Consumer Sciences from Texas Tech University.
Dawndra Sechrist, OTR, PhD is Assistant Dean of Learning Outcomes and Assessment for the School of Health Professions at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where she also is an assistant professor in the occupational therapy program. She earned her PhD in Family and Consumer Sciences from Texas Tech University.
Eugene Wang, PhD is an associate professor in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University. He earned his PhD in Psychology from Texas A & M - Commerce. He has expertise in statistical modeling techniques, multi-tiered systems of support, and the risk assessment of disruptive and violent behaviors.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Whisner, S. M., Geddie, M., Sechrist, D., & Wang, E. (2019). Examination of Potential Factors to Predict Fieldwork Performance: A Program Evaluation Project. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 3 (1). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2019.030106
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