ERIC Number: EJ1055447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reflective Observation in the Clinical Education Setting: A Way to Promote Learning
Mazerolle, Stephanie M.; Bowman, Thomas G.; Benes, Sarah S.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v10 n1 p32-38 Jan-Mar 2015
Context: Clinical experiences help athletic training students gain real-time learning experiences by engaging in patient care. Observational learning has been identified as important to athletic training student development, yet little is known about its effectiveness. Objective: To explore the athletic training students' perspectives on their experiences in the clinical education setting, particularly examining the effectiveness of observational learning. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)-accredited undergraduate programs. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-four athletic training students (7 juniors and 17 seniors) from 4 National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) districts volunteered to participant in our study. The average age was 21 years (range, 20-23 years). Main Outcome Measure(s): Participants responded to a series of open-ended questions by journaling their thoughts and opinions through the secure Web site QuestionPro. Questions examined clinical education experiences and learning preferences. The resulting data were analyzed using a general inductive procedure, and credibility was established by employing peer review, member checks, and multiple analyst triangulation. Results: Our analysis revealed that observational learning can benefit students when academic standing is considered, the circumstances are right, and it allows for directed mentoring. Our participants valued opportunities to engage in observational learning, as long as it was limited and purposeful. Conclusions: All 24 participants identified themselves as hands-on learners who preferred to be actively engaged during their learning experiences, but who also valued opportunities to observe their preceptors demonstrating and modeling appropriate skills and behaviors before engaging in the same practices themselves. Today's student, the millennial, appears to favor visual learning, which may partially explain why our cohort of athletic training students described observational learning as advantageous in certain situations.
Descriptors: Clinical Experience, Athletics, Allied Health Occupations Education, Observational Learning, Qualitative Research, Undergraduate Students, Student Attitudes, Student Experience, Experiential Learning, Interviews, Cognitive Style, Mentors, Time Factors (Learning)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Learning Style Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A