Date of Award
Doctor of Education in Computer Education
Center for Computer and Information Sciences
Thomas P Hogan
Little was known about the value of computer assisted instruction (CAl) for entry-level physical therapy (PT) education. Factors that affect implementation and use of CAl in entry-level PT education had not been identified. Because of this paucity of information, decision-making about the implementation and use of CAl in entry-level PT education had been hampered.
This study used mail questionnaire survey methods to find:
- The extent of use of computer-assisted instruction (CAl) in entry-level physical therapy (PT) education.
- The perceived value of CAl compared to more traditional instructional methods for entry-level PT education.
- What factors affect implementation and use of CAl in entry-level PT education programs?
Academic administrators of all entry-level PT programs in the United States (n= 123) were surveyed. A response rate of 86. 9% (n = 107) was achieved. The number of programs using CAl was low (n = 32, 29. 9%) when compared to CAl use in nursing and medical education. Use within PT programs using CAl was also low.
A Likert-type scale was used to quantify the perceived value of CAl. The possible range of scores on the Likert- type scale was 21 to 147. Respondents rated the value of CAl at a median score of 117 (range 76 to 143, mean = 115.2, SD = 14.5). A wilcoxon Rank Sum test was used to show that CAl users placed more value on CAl than did non- users (W = 2119.5, P < .01, two-tailed).
A five point scale was used to quantify the effect of resource, faculty, and student factors on the implementation and use of CAl. One resource factor (availability of relevant CAl software) was rated as having a very strong effect. Other resource and faculty factors were rated as having strong effects. Student factors were rated as having moderate effects.
The relationships between demographic variables (years of program accreditation, number of full-time equivalent program faculty, number of program students per year, degree awarded, annual tuition and fees, geographic location) and CAl use and value of CAl were investigated. None of the demographic variables were correlated with CAl use or perceived value of CAl.
The author concluded that academic administrators of entry-level PT education programs perceive CAl as a valuable instructional tool. CAl use in entry-level PT education is low, especially when compared to CAl use in nursing and medical education. A lack of available software that is relevant for use in entry-level PT education is perceived to be the major factor that limits the implementation and use of CAl. This is a very strong factor. The absence of a mechanism for sharing information about available, relevant software is a related, important factor.
The author recommends that a well-organized, sustained effort to develop relevant CAl software for PT should be mobilized. The subject matter areas that can benefit most from CAl use should be identified. The types of CAl software (e.g., drill and practice, patient simulation, problem solving, remedial work, supplemental work, testing, etc.) that are most needed should be identified. A medium for sharing information about CAI software for entry-level PT education needs to be established. The purpose of the medium should be to disseminate information about CAl software for PT to all entry-level PT programs. The effects of student factors such as learning style, computer literacy, and interest in using computers should be studied in more detail. How these factors affect the implementation and use of CAl in entry-level PT education has not been adequately established.
Edmund M. Kosmahl. 1992. Instructional use of Computers For Entry-Level Physical Therapy Education In The United States. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Center for Computer and Information Sciences. (644)