Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Fieldwork experiences in occupational therapy are meant to bridge the gap between academic learning and clinical practice. Various formats for fieldwork experiences have been encouraged as sites become harder to find. A faculty-led fieldwork experience is one suggested format. Faculty-led initiatives using a collaborative learning model (CLM) allow faculty to supervise a group of students at one time. In order to understand more about using a CLM within Level I fieldwork, a case study approach was used to describe the experience of nine occupational therapy students. Results suggest that the students involved in this faculty-led Level I fieldwork experience in a CLM were self-directed and reflective in practice as they were stretched outside their comfort zone. Under a faculty-led collaborative student supervision model, the occupational therapy students increased their confidence and learned clinical reasoning skills through peer collaboration. These results suggest that CLM can provide adequate structure for faculty-led fieldwork initiatives. Occupational therapy programs should provide opportunities to develop goals and be reflective and self-directed in practice during faculty-led Level I fieldwork experiences. Other considerations for OT programs wishing to develop such experiences are discussed.


Karen M. Keptner, PhD, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist for 20 years and has been teaching in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio since 2006. Every year, she takes occupational therapy students to work on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico.

Susan Klein, PhD received her PhD in Education from Capella University and has National Board Certification as a special education teacher. She has worked with children and adults with disabilities for twenty-five years in various capacities. Currently, she is an intervention specialist in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Cleveland, Ohio.

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The author(s) report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.