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Carrie Ciro, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Mary Isaacson, EdD, OTR/L, ATP


The purpose was to examine the feasibility of creating a faculty-driven research-based fieldwork (FW) I experience and to examine whether students engaged in a research-based FW I would report equivalent skill performance opportunities as students engaged in traditional FW I experiences. Twenty-four first-year occupational therapy students were given the option of choosing either a research-based FW I experience with a faculty member (n = 5) or a traditional FW I site (n = 19). The students self-reported their opportunities to perform ACOTE standards of practice related to professionalism, professional reasoning, use of sciences, and experiential learning using a Likert scale. Results are provided through non-parametric tests. Students in the research-based FW I reported significantly higher scores for skill performance opportunities than the students in the traditional FW I in areas of professionalism (p = .03), professional reasoning (p = .02), and experiential learning (p = .04), but there were no differences in use of sciences scores. In this small sample, first-year occupational therapy students reported a difference in skill performance opportunities for practicing professionalism, professional reasoning, and experiential learning in a research-based FW I structured by a faculty member, compared to students who chose a traditional FW I setting.