Research Article
Issue Date: May/June 2020
Published Online: March 30, 2020
Updated: April 30, 2020
Student Technology Acceptance of 3D Printing in Occupational Therapy Education
Author Affiliations
  • Sara Benham, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, is Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA. At the time of this study, she was Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; benhams@moravian.edu
  • Steven San, DrOT, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, EBS Healthcare, Philadelphia.
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 30, 2020
Student Technology Acceptance of 3D Printing in Occupational Therapy Education
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2020, Vol. 74, 7403205060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.035402
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2020, Vol. 74, 7403205060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.035402
Abstract

Importance: Reports on the integration of 3D printing in occupational therapy education and changes in student acceptance of technology over time are lacking.

Objective: 3D printing technology applications may offer effective solutions to increase client participation in occupations. However, the use of these applications in occupational therapy practice requires attention to occupational therapy students’ perception of the technology’s usefulness and ease of use. Students’ perception of technology potentially influences their perceptions of technology use in future practice.

Design: This was an exploratory one-group, pretest–posttest, repeated-measures study over 12 wk to examine whether an assignment that integrated 3D printing improved students’ perceptions of technology acceptance. The study used a modified questionnaire based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

Setting: Academic educational institution.

Participants: Second-year entry-level occupational therapy students (N = 58).

Results: Paired t tests showed significant differences for all categories of the TAM questionnaire, including perceived usefulness (p = .001), perceived ease of use (p < .001), attitude toward using (p = .014), and intention to use (p < .001).

Conclusion: The experiential learning assignment increased students’ acceptance of 3D printing technology; however, future studies should include an exploration of clients’ acceptance and perception of technology.

What This Article Adds: This study provides evidence for the use of instructional strategies for “maker” technologies by educators when integrating experiential and interactive approaches.