Fieldwork Educator Manual
The UND fieldwork educator manual provides an overview of the UND curriculum, the specific policies and procedures relative to level I and II fieldwork and commonly used forms.
- AOTA Fieldwork Education Resources
- Medicare Requirements for Supervision (accessible to AOTA members only)
Types of Fieldwork Placements
Fieldwork Supervision Models
- Traditional, Apprenticeship, or 1:1 Supervision Model
Collaborative Fieldwork Supervision Model
Multiple Mentoring Supervision Model
More details – (under development)
The Learning Contract
- A learning contract is established when the fieldwork educator and the student determine together the skills and knowledge to be learned, methods for achieving the learning, and the criteria for evaluating whether the learning has taken place. Although often used when remediation is required, the learning contract can also be invaluable in situations where the student is progressing as expected, or is achieving beyond the facility expectations (Costa, 2007).
- The central feature of the learning contract is the focus that it provides for the fieldwork educator and the student to structure and organize the learning experience. Inherent to the use of a learning contract is the presumption that the learner has the capacity to direct their own learning using the educator as a resource (Matheson, 2003). Through the process of negotiating the contract, the learner takes responsibility for his or her learning thereby developing a sense of ownership and commitment to the plan.
- Matheson (2003) suggests that the structure of a learning contract include:
- the name and position (student occupational therapist) of the individual undertaking the learning.
- identification of the learning objective (ie what will the student be able to do if the plan is achieved? The learning objective will likely reflect one or more of the general objectives for learning established by the facility.
- (for each identified learning objective) identification of at least two strategies that the student will engage in to accomplish the objective.
- identification by the fieldwork educator of at least one supportive strategy that he/she will use to support the student in accomplishing each objective.
- an established criterion of performance for each objective. The criterion should be measurable and include reference to a deadline for objective achievement.
- the date the contract was established and/or revised, and the signature of all parties.
- Whitcombe (2001) identifies the advantages of using learning contracts:
- Students develop ownership for learning
- Increased quality of student learning experiences
- Opportunity to focus on remediation of problem areas
- Enhanced communication and understanding between students and fieldwork educators
- The success of the learning contract approach is closely associated with the role modeling and communication skills of the fieldwork educator. Typically, students will need support and encouragement to develop learning objectives. Although the fieldwork educator guides the process, joint decision making regarding the forming and evaluation of contract objectives will enhance learning outcomes and student investment in the learning process (Whitcombe, 2001). The student is expected to contribute to the process by identifying and attempting to resolve problems and by making use of all opportunities for learning. Ultimately, learning contracts can be a useful tool in fostering independent learning and self-evaluation skills.
- Costa, D. (2007). Clinical supervision in occupational therapy: A guide for fieldwork and practice. AOTA Press.
- Matheson, R. (2003) Promoting the integration of theory and practice by the use of a learning contract. International Journal of Therapy and rehabilitation, 10, 264 – 269.
- Whitcombe, S. (2001) Using learning contracts in fieldwork education: The views of occupational therapy students and those responsible for their supervision. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 552 – 558.
- Example of Learning Contract
Reflection in Practice
- Critical reflection enables students to move along a continuum of acquisition of new knowledge, understanding, and then questioning existing assumptions, values, and perspectives (Bonello, 2001). Through reflective practices professionals are able to recognize pertinent data relative to a case, interpret cues, and generate hypotheses as to treatment strategy (Berner, 1984).
- Williams et al (2000) (as cited in Costa, 2004) suggests a format for reflection including the following elements:
- Describe the learning event or situation, as well as prior knowledge, feelings, and attitudes and current knowledge, feelings and attitudes. This description answers the question “What happened?”
- What is your personal reaction to the learning event, issue or situation?
- Did the learning event/issue/situation change your prior knowledge, feelings or attitudes? What is the value of the learning event, issue or situation ie how has it challenged your prior thinking?
- What is your new understanding of the event, issue or situation?
- How might this effect your future behavior? For example, how might it help you to clarify an issue? develop a skill? Resolve a problem or conflict? How will you approach similar events, issues, situations in the future?
- Focus Areas for Reflective Writing
- Identify and evaluate client response to treatment sessions.
- Before, during or following treatment sessions
- Revise plan to include new perspectives
- Identify and explore theoretical concepts
- Identify theoretical concepts in a particular frame of reference
- Analyze these components for their value in the treatment of a particular client
- Compare relative value of divergent approaches
- Blend two elements together to form unique approach or
- Identify preferred theoretical approach recognizing individual personality of client and therapist professional interests.
- Recognize the impact of context on practice
- Describe the contest of the practice setting and the impact on a specific clinical decision.
- Identify the influence of the clinical setting context on the occupational behavior of the client.
- Design treatment interventions to consciously consider context to engage the client in the treatment process
- Promote student self-assessment
- Students might reflect on personal and professional presentation.
- Identify clinical competencies in assessment, treatment planning and treatment implementation
- Develop standards for performance
- Develop specific learning objectives
- Recognize and support ethical behavior
- Review the code of ethics and identify how specific concepts can be applied within a particular treatment setting
- Analyze those concepts most difficult to apply; develop a plan for application
- Support evidence-based practice
- Choose an intervention common to the treatment of a particular diagnoses within the setting.
- Locate 3 articles which support the approach and summarize the evidence.
- Evaluate the strength of the evidence for application to a particular client.
- Identify 1 or 2 alternative interventions and search for evidence to support their use.
- Choose between intervention possibilities considering elements of the treatment context and the unique needs of the client
- Over time, pool evidence to create a treatment protocol for a particular client population.
- Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.
- Bonello, M. (2001). Fieldwork within the context of higher education: A literature review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 93-99.
- Costa, D. (2007). Clinical supervision in occupational therapy: A guide for fieldwork and practice. AOTA Press: Bethesda, M D.
- Williams, R., Sundelin, G., Foster-Sargeant, E., & Norman, G. (2000). Assessing the reliability of grading reflective journal writing. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 14 (2).
Fieldwork Educator Training
- AOTA Fieldwork Educators Certificate Workshop https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/Workshop.aspx
- Kinsella, E.A., Bossers, A., Ferguson, K., Jenkins, K., Bezzina, M.B., MacPhail, A., Moosa, T., Schurr, S., Whitehead, J. & Hobson, S. (2016). Preceptor Education Program for health professionals and students. (2nd ed.) London, ON: The University of Western Ontario. Available at: preceptor.ca
- ClinEdAus: Enabling Clinical Education Skills. http://www.clinedaus.org.au/