Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapy -- education; Problem-Based Learning
Background: In occupational therapy education, it is unclear what educational methods best facilitate the development of critical thinking. Therefore, this pilot study explored whether Level I fieldwork coupled with reflective learning opportunities impacts the development of critical thinking skills.
Methods: The researchers employed a pre and post-test design which measured both self-perception of critical thinking and actual performance of critical thinking. Specifically, the Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT) and a reflective writing assignment graded with a rubric were utilized to measure actual performance. The Self-Assessment of Critical Reflection and Reasoning (SACRR) was used to measure self-perceived performance of critical thinking.
Results: In this study, participants demonstrated improvements in critical thinking following a Level I fieldwork. Specific improvements were found in the areas of evaluation and induction skills, which are subscales of the HRST. There was also an increase in participants’ self-perceived confidence in utilizing critical thinking skills. The use of reflective writing assignment was found to increase the participants’ ability to use evaluation, inference, and deduction skills.
Conclusion: Experiential learning experiences coupled with a reflective writing assignment is an effective means of developing critical thinking skills. Future research should utilize a bigger sample size to confirm the findings and increase the generalizability of the results.
Dvergsten, Vanessa and Haugen, Alissa, "Experiential Learning and its Impact on Critical Thinking" (2015). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 55.