Research Article
Issue Date: May/June 2020
Published Online: April 09, 2020
Updated: April 30, 2020
Online Journal Clubs to Enhance Fieldwork Educator Competency in Support of Student Experiential Learning
Author Affiliations
  • Allison Ellington, OTD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Program Director, Occupational Therapy Program, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA.
  • William E. Janes, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L, is Assistant Research Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Missouri School of Health Professions, Columbia; janesw@health.missouri.edu
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 09, 2020
Online Journal Clubs to Enhance Fieldwork Educator Competency in Support of Student Experiential Learning
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2020, Vol. 74, 7403205150. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.035733
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2020, Vol. 74, 7403205150. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.035733
Abstract

Importance: Fieldwork educators receive little or no formal training for student supervision and have sought inexpensive, flexible, online options for role-specific continuing education.

Objective: To investigate the use of online journal clubs to enhance fieldwork educator role competency.

Design: Mixed-methods study with a prospective cohort design; 5-wk intervention with 6-mo follow-up.

Setting: Online asynchronous message board system distributed to fieldwork educators affiliated with two occupational therapy programs.

Participants: Academic fieldwork coordinators from two universities facilitated online journal clubs for fieldwork educators. Fourteen fieldwork educators participated in the 5-wk journal club, which included reading an article, engaging in online discussion, and creating a personal application plan.

Results: Participants demonstrated strong engagement in the online journal club. Postsurvey results revealed strong and positive feedback related to ease of use, relevance of learning, and satisfaction with the experience. At the 6-mo follow-up, 11 of the 14 participants reported implementing a new strategy to support the fieldwork education process, and all reported that the strategy had been helpful.

Conclusions and Relevance: The use of an online journal club was effective as a method for sharing evidence about the fieldwork educator role and supporting knowledge translation.

What This Article Adds: Online journal clubs can be an effective tool for providing role-specific training in diverse practice settings and parts of the country.