Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


When planning to use measurement scales in new samples and contexts, examining the scales’ psychometric properties is an important initial step. This study examined the factor structure and internal consistency of two measures that are part of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) – the Conceptions of learning and Preferences for teaching and courses – in a sample of American occupational therapy students. The students (n = 115) completed the measures and provided basic sociodemographic information. Scale structure was examined with Principal Components Analysis (PCA), while consistency between scale items was assessed with mean inter-item correlations. For the Conceptions of learning measure, one item was removed due to cross-loading between factors. The subsequent analysis revealed two factors, representing deep and surface conceptions of learning, on which the items – with one exception – loaded in line with theory. For the Preferences for teaching and courses measure, two factors were found, representing preferences denoted in theory as supporting understanding and transmitting information, respectively. The items showed good fit with the two theoretically proposed factors. The scales’ mean inter-item correlations were satisfactory, ranging 0.27-0.36. One item on the Conceptions of learning measure appears to be problematic due to cross-loading, and another may be interpreted in a different way than originally proposed. After removing the problematic item, all scales showed satisfactory psychometric properties for assessing conceptions of learning and preferences for teaching.


Tore Bonsaksen, MSc has clinical background from occupational therapy in mental health practice. Currently he teaches at undergraduate and masters-level occupational therapy programs in Oslo and Sandnes, Norway. He is involved in a number of research projects related to health, health services and education within the health professions.

Adele Breen-Franklin, PhD has worked as a school based occupational therapist, and was the coordinator of the Philadelphia Services and Healthcare project. The project developed and implemented a grant-funded occupational therapy based transitional healthcare program for female inmates with psychiatric disorders at a correctional facility in Philadelphia, PA. She currently teaches masters and doctoral-level occupational therapy students. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Declaration of Interest

The authors 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.