Learning Outcomes of Hybrid In-Person and At-Home Orthosis Fabrication Instruction for Occupational Therapy Students

Abstract

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, occupational therapy students at one university received all orthosis fabrication education through an in-person laboratory-based environment supported by clinicians and instructional videos. Due to the pandemic restrictions, orthosis fabrication labs for occupational therapy students were transitioned to a hybrid in-person and at-home supported lab. Presently, there is no research investigating how a hybrid in-person orthosis lab and at-home orthosis fabrication experience impacts the professional practice skill development of occupational therapy students entering the workforce. This research examined the learning outcomes of participation in a hybrid orthosis fabrication experience consisting of one in-person laboratory-based experience and one at-home supported experience (instructional videos, written instructions, without instructor supervision). The research also explored the implications of this hybrid learning experience for future curriculum development. This qualitative study included two components: (1) Interviews with six occupational therapy graduates; (2) 26 student reflections following the hybrid learning experience. The results of this study highlighted three overarching themes: orthosis skill development; transferable skills development; future considerations for implementing a hybrid learning method. A hybrid learning approach provided unique opportunities for the scaling of independence and productive struggle to develop student competence in orthosis fabrication. This research provided insights for occupational therapy curriculum developers to modify educational approaches and effectively support students as they develop into competent occupational therapists

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This paper was published in Eastern Kentucky University.

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