Evaluation of an on-campus program bridging the theory practice gap in occupational therapy education: Student perspective

Journal article


Zahedi, H. and Rowe, S. (2021). Evaluation of an on-campus program bridging the theory practice gap in occupational therapy education: Student perspective. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education. 5 (3), pp. 1-21.
AuthorsZahedi, H. and Rowe, S.
Abstract

The transfer of learning from an academic setting to fieldwork and vice versa is not straightforward and
occupational therapy students often report this as challenging. In acknowledgement of this, the fieldwork
placement learning structure within the Bachelor and Master occupational therapy entry-level programs at
a higher education institute was redesigned to enhance links between taught content at university and
fieldwork placement. The aim of this study was to explore occupational therapy students’ perspectives of
this new educational initiative. The students attended university for a set number of days over the course
of their first and second fieldwork placements. The sessions were focused on assisting students to make
connections between theory taught at university to the practice setting and allow time for reflection and
consolidation of learning. One hundred and fifteen occupational therapy students completed an
anonymized online questionnaire to evaluate their experiences consisting of open and closed questions.
Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis and Likert Scale data was analyzed descriptively.
Three key themes were identified from the qualitative information: reflection, support, and understanding
and knowledge. The students reported the sessions provided time for reflection, which enabled them to
link theory to practice more clearly and peer support was highly regarded. The introduction of university
days during fieldwork education was overall positively received by students. This educational approach
helped students to better understand theory and promoted reflection on practice experiences. This may
be a useful approach to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

KeywordsOccupational therapy education, practice placement
Year2021
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy Education
Journal citation5 (3), pp. 1-21
PublisherEncompass
Web address (URL)https://encompass.eku.edu/jote/vol5/iss3/1
Publication dates
Print23 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Jun 2021
Deposited20 Sep 2021
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Controlled
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Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap.pdf
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Open

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Evaluation of an on-campus programme bridging the theory-practice gap in occupational therapy education: Student perspective
Zahedi, H. and Rowe, S. (2021). Evaluation of an on-campus programme bridging the theory-practice gap in occupational therapy education: Student perspective . Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE). 5 (3), pp. 1-21.