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Abstract

Purpose: Athletic training education programs ensure the training of clinical instructors through annual workshops designed to familiarize them with athletic training clinical standards and guidelines. An opportunity exists for these workshops to enhance education related to instructional strategies and development. Unfortunately, many clinical instructors lack sufficient time to attend workshops and classes. This research integrates on-line discussion boards as a supplemental tool with in-class workshop sessions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction of clinical instructors through on-line discussion boards. Methods: This research component, in conjunction with a larger project incorporating an in-class clinical instructor workshop, utilized on-line discussion boards to present a unique method of data collection. Qualitative methods from this research included gathering discussion board transcripts from a group of clinical instructors enrolled in an on-line WebCT course. Results: Data collected from the discussion boards identified themes that developed from the content analysis. Themes revealed through the transcripts of each discussion board linked issues presented in the in-class sessions. In addition, these discussion boards provided supplemental interactions supporting the need for increased interactions between clinical instructors. Conclusions: Additional time outside of the clinical setting allows the clinical instructors to interact with a variety of topics including their personal experiences with athletic training students, insight into these experiences, and instructional strategies used with these students. These on-line discussions created a supplemental time for these clinical instructors to communicate their ideas after attending the in-class sessions.

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