Cheryl MacNeil, Theresa Hand; Examining Occupational Therapy Education Through Faculty Engagement in Curriculum Mapping and Pedagogical Reflection. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(Supplement_2):S12-S22. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2014.012286.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
This article discusses a 1-yr evaluation study of a master of science in occupational therapy program to examine curriculum content and pedagogical practices as a way to gauge program preparedness to move to a clinical doctorate. Faculty members participated in a multitiered qualitative study that included curriculum mapping, semistructured individual interviewing, and iterative group analysis. Findings indicate that curriculum mapping and authentic dialogue helped the program formulate a more streamlined and integrated curriculum with increased faculty collaboration. Curriculum mapping and collaborative pedagogical reflection are valuable evaluation strategies for examining preparedness to offer a clinical doctorate, enhancing a self-study process, and providing information for ongoing formative curriculum review.
Complete curriculum maps for each of their courses in real time for two semesters;
Participate in individual interviews exploring their perspectives on the program’s history, delivery, and future projections; and
Analyze the curriculum maps and data produced during the interviews during midterm and end-of-year faculty retreats.
Conversations would focus on our current master’s curriculum and matters that we could change as a team to make our program stronger. We would put all issues that required administrative actions aside for the day.
Our role was to view the data and listen to the conversations through the lens of program director, not a defender or advocate of any particular course.
Past performances and personal beliefs were to be sidelined to maximize the potential success of the session.
We would negotiate outcomes and action steps toward the end of the day. It was important that we have not just a process but also a plan of commitment to tangible actions over time.
It is challenging to find time for collaborations in the context of over-the-top curriculum.
We tend to work in silos, and this creates turf issues.
We’re not always aware of what everyone else is teaching. When a problem occurs, we don’t always collect all the data. We need to be better information gatherers before judging.
We need to strengthen our ability to talk with one another.
We are all strong within ourselves and there are times when we support each other, but it is not the culture.
“We make changes, move deadlines, accommodate, look at scheduling, sometimes bend over backwards. . . . We are very much toward the student, and that is what we should be doing.”
“We do not hold students to professional development issues and time management issues. It is important to be flexible, but we move the line a lot, and that doesn’t do anybody any favors.”
“Sometimes we are not comfortable hearing a student’s voice and helping them to shape that voice to a point where it can be used professionally. . . . Sometimes it is not an equal relationship.”
Do all 3-credit courses have to be created equal? How so, how not?
What does a student-centered learning environment look like, sound like, and feel like?
What is it we are looking for in assessment? What makes for good assessment?
What does faculty collaboration look like, sound like, and feel like?
Curriculum mapping can improve the transparency of the curriculum and assist faculty in examining program alignment, pedagogy, and assessment.
Creating a framework for authentic dialogue that assists faculty in eliciting higher level pedagogical reflections can create a foundation for collaboration.
The curriculum mapping and collaborative dialogue methodologies used in this study can be adapted to other departments and programs as a strategy for formative curriculum review.
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