Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


Recent research related to occupational therapy education identified the need for a conceptual model to help guide the design and implementation of occupation-centered education. Spurred by this research, the Subject-centered Integrative Learning Model-Occupational Therapy (SCIL-OT) emerged as a model to enable educators and learners to keep the concept of occupation at the center of all occupational therapy education and learning. That work, largely focused on teaching students to connect non-occupation content to occupation (Hooper et al., 2020). However, teaching students about occupation directly can also benefit from using the SCIL-OT model to design learning experiences. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: 1) to demonstrate how the SCIL-OT model guided the development of a semester-long occupational balance assignment, and 2) to introduce the Occupational Experience Profile (OEP) used in the assignment. Content analysis of students’ written components of the semester-long occupation-based learning assignment revealed two themes: 1) completion of the occupational balance assignment contributed to an increased awareness of occupation and the dynamics of occupation and 2) students’ learning revealed interconnections between self, occupation, health, clients, and OT practice. Use of the SCIL-OT enhances students’ abilities to make connections; however, educators need to continually create and communicate explicit connections with and to occupation.


Adele Breen-Franklin, OTD, JD, OTR/L is the program director of the entry level DrOT program and assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Sciences. Her area of interests include the meaning of occupation, occupational identity, psychosocial issues, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Karen Atler, Ph.D., OTR/L is associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on understanding how what people do and experience influences well-being. She developed the Occupational Experience Profile to help people become aware of the relationship between what they do and well-being.

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.