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Abstract

Purpose: Many physical therapists are requested to assume the role of a clinical instructor (CI) after only one year of clinical practice. The purposes of this study are to assess the feasibility of an activity that introduces students to the responsibilities of a CI and to determine if this activity had any impact on student perceptions of attributes that are present in an effective CI. Methods: Second year DPT students enrolled in a course that utilizes case-based learning and peer-teaching activities participated in this study. Participants completed the McGill University Clinical Tutor Evaluation survey both pre- and post-learning activity. Survey results were analyzed for mean composite scores, changes in survey items ranking, and statistically significant differences in survey item responses both pre- and post- activity. Results: Mean composite scores for the McGill survey as well as mean ranks for each of the 25 survey items were identified both pre and post activity. Statistically significant differences were found by comparing student responses from surveys taken pre- and post-activity. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a peer-teaching experiential learning activity was feasible for influencing student perceptions of important attributes of an effective CI. These findings indicate that incorporation of similar activities into DPT entry-level curricula may aid in educating students about the responsibilities of a CI.

Author Bio(s)

Susan J. Barlow PT, DPT, PhD, NCS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Lynchburg.

Penelope S. Elam PT, DPT, GCS is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Lynchburg.

Stephen W. Elam PT, DPT, EdD, GCS, OCS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Lynchburg.

Lee Ann Eagler PT, DPT, GCS is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Lynchburg.

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