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Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Creating Consistent Communication in Level II Fieldwork: A Comprehensive Review
Author Affiliations
  • University of Central Arkansas
  • University of Central Arkansas, Conway
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Creating Consistent Communication in Level II Fieldwork: A Comprehensive Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505114. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3101
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505114. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3101
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

Level II fieldwork is an integral part of occupational therapy education. Communication during Level II fieldwork is not only included in the educational standards but is necessary for the student, educator, and academic fieldwork coordinator (AFWC). A weekly tool was evaluated from all three views to determine efficiency and effectiveness.

INNOVATION: Fieldwork programs must strive to identify innovative means to meet the standards efficiently. The integration of the weekly tool was viewed as innovative with a minimal increase in expectations for the fieldwork educators. Further, the tool was evaluated using knowledge gained from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which recognizes the importance of supporting teaching with research. The results of the study will either support the continued use, adaptation, or discontinuation of the tool.
METHOD: This study used two surveys (rated on a 5-point Likert scale) that we developed and a reflection piece written by the academic fieldwork coordinator. Upon conclusion of the first 12 wk of Level II fieldwork, a survey was sent electronically to both the fieldwork educators and the students to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the weekly review tool. The tool was a one-page evaluation completed by joint effort between the student and educator. Information reported on the tool included strengths, weaknesses, goals met, new weekly goals, level of supervision required, and professional behavior report. The research questions were as follows: (1) Do fieldwork educators report the weekly review tool as effective and/or efficient? (2) Do fieldwork students report the weekly review tool as effective and/or efficient? (3) Does the academic fieldwork coordinator (AFWC) view the tool as effective and efficient? In addition, overall suggestions were included using an open-ended question.
RESULTS: Forty-eight surveys were sent to fieldwork educators, with 35 educators responding (return rate = 72.9%). Of the respondents, 60% had 3 to 10 yr of experience being a fieldwork educator. Educators reported that the tool ensured that the student (M = 4.26) and the AFWC (M = 4.19) were aware of progress. The tool increased communication with the coordinator, as most would communicate with the coordinator only if there was an issue. Students (n = 31) recognized that the tool increased communication about their progress (M = 4.29) and that it also increased the AFWC’s awareness of the students’ progress (M = 4.35).
Although students found it beneficial overall, they recognized the increased responsibility on the educators. Both suggested that the tool be required every other week. The AWFC found it useful in knowing the students’ progress. She was able to identify potential problems and to follow-up with e-mail and/or phone calls. Most important was that if a student was in jeopardy of failing (or had failed), there was written documentation provided for review and support. Finally, the AFWC did view the tool as a way of communication with the least amount of imposition with the educators and students.
CONCLUSION: The weekly review tool increases communication between educators, students, and the AFWC and provides written documentation of student progress. However, although the tool was reported to be effective, it was not viewed as efficient. Improvements should be considered to improve efficiency of communication during Level II fieldwork.