Title

How student knowledge and application of occupation is assessed and measured: A national study

1

Location

Studio 2

Start Time

20-10-2017 4:45 PM

End Time

20-10-2017 5:45 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Leaders and scholars consider occupation core and threshold knowledge for occupational therapy (Fortune and Kennedy-Jones, 2014), yet how it is conveyed through education is not well understood. This national study examined how faculty teach and assess student knowledge of occupation and its application in practice in US programs. Using a qualitative descriptive research design, we analyzed interviews, video recordings, and artifacts of teaching occupation collected from 25 programs, chosen using stratified random sampling. The research team analyzed Interview data using an inductive, constant comparative approach; video and artifact data were analyzed using findings from the interviews (Krishnagiri, Hooper, Price, Taff, & Bilics, 2017). For this study, the research team analyzed a subset of data to examine how faculty assess student knowledge and application of occupation.

All participants described desired outcomes related to occupation, yet analysis revealed there was very little actual measurement of learning the concept. When faculty did measure the concept, they almost exclusively assessed student knowledge related to occupation applied in the occupational therapy process. Few examples exist of criteria to measure student knowledge of occupation beyond its relation to the occupational therapy process. Similar to the findings of the larger study of how occupation is taught in curricula, when faculty measured student’s knowledge about occupation, strategies of measurement ranged on a continuum from formal and direct to informal and indirect.

It is unclear whether the limited assessment of learning occupation is related to a gap between desired learning outcomes and outcome assessments, faculty assumption that students have mastered the concept and its application in practice, a lack of understanding of assessment development, or variability of faculty knowledge regarding occupation. The intersection of knowledge of occupation and the ability to design instructional strategies to effectively teach and assess the concept is called pedagogical content knowledge (Zepke, 2013). Each of these potential barriers to assessing student knowledge of occupation has implications for faculty development in education.

Questions for discussion: 1) As occupational scientists, what can we do in terms of faculty development regarding increasing faculty understanding of occupation and how to assess students’ knowledge? 2) How do participants assess students’ knowledge of occupation?

3 key terms: occupation in education, assessment of occupation, pedagogical content knowledge

References

Fortune, T. & Kennedy-Jones, M. (2014). Occupation and its relationship with health and well-being: The

threshold concept for occupational therapy. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61, 293-

298. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1630.12144

Krisnagiri, S., Hooper, B., Price, P., Taff, S. D., & Bilics, A. Explicit or hidden? Exploring how occupation is

taught in occupational therapy curricula in the United States. American Journal of Occupational

Therapy, 71, 7102230020.https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.024174

Zepke, N. (2013). Threshold concepts and student engagement: Revisiting pedagogical content

knowledge. Active Learning in Higher Education, 14, 97-107.

https://doi.org/10.1177/1469787413481127

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Oct 20th, 4:45 PM Oct 20th, 5:45 PM

How student knowledge and application of occupation is assessed and measured: A national study

Studio 2

Leaders and scholars consider occupation core and threshold knowledge for occupational therapy (Fortune and Kennedy-Jones, 2014), yet how it is conveyed through education is not well understood. This national study examined how faculty teach and assess student knowledge of occupation and its application in practice in US programs. Using a qualitative descriptive research design, we analyzed interviews, video recordings, and artifacts of teaching occupation collected from 25 programs, chosen using stratified random sampling. The research team analyzed Interview data using an inductive, constant comparative approach; video and artifact data were analyzed using findings from the interviews (Krishnagiri, Hooper, Price, Taff, & Bilics, 2017). For this study, the research team analyzed a subset of data to examine how faculty assess student knowledge and application of occupation.

All participants described desired outcomes related to occupation, yet analysis revealed there was very little actual measurement of learning the concept. When faculty did measure the concept, they almost exclusively assessed student knowledge related to occupation applied in the occupational therapy process. Few examples exist of criteria to measure student knowledge of occupation beyond its relation to the occupational therapy process. Similar to the findings of the larger study of how occupation is taught in curricula, when faculty measured student’s knowledge about occupation, strategies of measurement ranged on a continuum from formal and direct to informal and indirect.

It is unclear whether the limited assessment of learning occupation is related to a gap between desired learning outcomes and outcome assessments, faculty assumption that students have mastered the concept and its application in practice, a lack of understanding of assessment development, or variability of faculty knowledge regarding occupation. The intersection of knowledge of occupation and the ability to design instructional strategies to effectively teach and assess the concept is called pedagogical content knowledge (Zepke, 2013). Each of these potential barriers to assessing student knowledge of occupation has implications for faculty development in education.

Questions for discussion: 1) As occupational scientists, what can we do in terms of faculty development regarding increasing faculty understanding of occupation and how to assess students’ knowledge? 2) How do participants assess students’ knowledge of occupation?

3 key terms: occupation in education, assessment of occupation, pedagogical content knowledge