Short Research Report

From work-integrated learning to virtual case studies: Navigating an alternative to fieldwork in paediatric occupational therapy

K van Niekerk, K Uys, IJC Lubbe

Abstract


Due to Covid-19 regulations, occupational therapy students’ access to clinical platforms was restricted and they were unable to perform traditional work integrated learning at approved placements.  This situation compelled lecturers to design creative and innovative alternative fieldwork training activities for third-year occupational therapy students in the paediatric domain.  In person fieldwork was converted (in part) to six case studies, presented by experts in synchronous online sessions. A structured and systematic approach was implemented to ensure student participation during and after presentations.  Students worked in small groups to complete i) a professional reasoning tool and ii) an intervention plan and session to conceptualise and put into writing their selected theoretical approach to each case.  One group was given the opportunity to present their work on the case on the day following the case presentation. Continuous formative feedback was provided during the presentation and integration of prior knowledge was encouraged through debate. Assessment focused on metacognition - the students’ ability to reflect on their learning during each case.  Students experienced the case studies as rich learning opportunities.  This approach will be adapted for use in the post-pandemic era to enhance occupational therapy students’ learning.


Authors' affiliations

K van Niekerk, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

K Uys, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

IJC Lubbe, Education Innovation, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(3):159-160. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i3.1528

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-07
Date published: 2021-10-07

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