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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to pilot the use of and explore the feasibility of an individualized professional learning plan (PLP) designed to guide the continuing education of athletic trainers (AT) based on their individual learning needs and explore the participants’ perceptions of its usefulness and feasibility. Method: A sample of 18 ATs (11 males and 7 females) completed the PLP and follow up the survey. Of these 18 individuals, five were also interviewed regarding their experience. The PLP Follow-up Survey consisted of 10 demographics items and 11 Likert-scale items (strongly agree = 5, strongly disagree = 1) assessing experiences with the PLP. Inductive analysis was utilized to analyze the qualitative data. Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze the quantitative data. Results: Ninety four percent (94%) of the survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the concept of having a PLP would assists in developing meaningful continuing professional education. Also, 78% agreed or strongly agreed that the PLP could aid with their selection of future continuing education. Three themes emerged from the qualitative data: 1) identifying learning needs; 2) planning continuing education; and 3) flexible guidance. Conclusion: The survey data and themes capture participants’ experience related to believing that the PLP was helpful in assisting ATs in identifying and self-analyzing individual learning needs and providing planning strategies to address these needs. Moreover, participants utilized the PLP to help guide their continuing education and also found it flexible enough to adapt based upon individual workplace challenges and financial considerations.

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