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Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
What Is Really Motivating OTA Students to Learn in the Classroom?
Article Information
School-Based Practice / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
What Is Really Motivating OTA Students to Learn in the Classroom?
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505144. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO4114
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505144. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO4114
Abstract

Date Presented 4/8/2016

Study of instructional practices effect on occupational therapy assistant students' achievement goal orientations, cognitive learning strategies (CLSs), and plans for continued professional learning (CPLs) at admission and over time. Results were use of multiple goals, deep processing and surface CLSs, and many CPL plans.

Primary Author and Speaker: A. Lynne Umbarger

PURPOSE: A longitudinal study to determine the effects of instructional practices on achievement goal orientations (GOs), cognitive learning strategies (CLSs), and plans for continued professional learning (CPLs of 1st-yr occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students.
RATIONALE: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education standards emphasize development of lifelong learners, which, in achievement goal motivation theory, can be associated with mastery GO, use of deep processing CLSs, and multiple plans for CPLs. The competitive OTA admission requirements suggest that students enter with performance GOs, which are associated with learning for grades, use of surface CLSs, and few plans for CPLs. This longitudinal research planned to evaluate the GOs of instructional practices and the effects on mastery and performance GOs of 1st-yr OTA students, associated CLS use, and plans for CPLs after graduation.
DESIGN: Longitudinal quantitative
PARTICIPANTS: Five OTA educational programs in Ohio and Pennsylvania participated. One hundred eight students anonymously and voluntarily participated during their first two semesters.
METHOD: Instructors were surveyed about instructional practices using modified questions from Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales. OTA students completed paper surveys with a modified form of Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire rating 77 items (1 = not at all like me to 7 = very much like me) to assess GOs and CLS use. Fourteen CPL check-off options were based on National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) suggestions. Surveys were distributed at the start and end of the first semester and 4 wk into the second semester.
ANALYSIS: Analyses of respondents’ data included descriptive measures, paired-sample t tests, analysis of variance, and growth curve modeling techniques.
RESULTS: There were not enough instructor data to compare GOs of instructional practices and effects on student GOs.
Students entered with a nonsignificant difference in means for mastery and performance GOs. Over time there was no significant increase in mastery and performance GO means. There was a significant variance in scores for mastery and performance GOs between students initially; however, there was no significant variance between students in change of mastery and performance GO scores over time.
Students entered with a nonsignificant difference in means for use of surface and deep processing CLSs. There was a significant variance in scores for surface and deep processing CLSs between students initially; however, there was no significant variance between students in change of surface and deep processing CLS scores over time.
Oddly, as students adopted more mastery GOs, they increased in the use of both surface and deep processing CLSs. Students entered with a fairly high number of CPL plans with a slight increase over time; the increase was significant only with a mastery GO.
DISCUSSION: Inclusion of more OTA programs would allow evaluation of impact of instructional practices. Despite competitive admission emphasizing grades, OTA students appear to adopt multiple GOs for learning and use both surface and deep processing CLSs, which may be beneficial in the 1st yr. The increased use of surface CLSs even with a mastery GO contradicts prior research. Students entered with more plans for CPLs than anticipated.
IMPACT STATEMENT: This study provides some quantification of OTA student learning goals, CLS use, and plans for CPLs. Further study may clarify why OTA students with mastery GOs increased in the use of surface CLSs and how the GOs and CLSs affect success on NBCOT exam. Comparison of planned and actual CPL after graduation may encourage adoption of specific or multiple GOs through use of mastery or performance instructional practices.