Evaluating Course Design for Significant Learning Among a Blended Cohort of Occupational Therapy Students
Document Type (Journals)
Occupational therapy (OT) school is where learning begins as students prepare to become future professionals. Thus, effective course design is imperative in professional formation. This study examined the effectiveness of a course designed around andragogical and active learning principles in combination with Fink’s (2013) taxonomy of learning for a blended cohort of face-to-face and hybrid OT students. The study used a mixed methods explanatory sequential design with pre/post surveys, end-of-course evaluations, and focus groups to explore student perceptions and preferences toward learning to create significant learning experiences. One hundred six students completed pre and post testing of the redesigned course, 67 completed end-of-course evaluations from 2018 (pre-redesign), and 90 from 2019 (post-redesign). Nineteen students participated in the focus groups, nine from the campus pathway and 10 from the hybrid pathway. Results suggest the course was effective at helping students achieve a deeper level of understanding and develop self-directed learning habits significantly more so than a traditional lecture format. Students, regardless of the method of course delivery, benefited from active learning strategies and showed a strong preference for assignments and learning activities linked to real-life experiences. Instructors should invite adult OT students to participate as capable and equal partners in the learning process and consider how to best orient students to course content to help them understand the relevance to personal motivations and goals. Results of this study can help instructors create significant learning opportunities that have a distinct value in developing OT practitioners who are lifelong learners for a blended cohort of students.
Diana Feldhacker, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR is an Assistant Professor and Founding Program Director in the Occupational Therapy Department at Des Moines University. Dr. Feldhacker’s research focus includes scholarship of teaching and learning and physical rehabilitation practice across the lifespan.
Bobbi Greiner, OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor and Director of Fellowship Programs in the Occupational Therapy Department at Creighton University. Dr. Greiner’s research focus includes scholarship of teaching and learning and evidence-based practice.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Feldhacker, D. R., & Greiner, B. S. (2022). Evaluating Course Design for Significant Learning Among a Blended Cohort of Occupational Therapy Students. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 6 (1). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2022.060101
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