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Comparative Effectiveness of Online Training in Assistive Technology and its Use for Development of Rehabilitation Professionals’ Interprofessionality and Reflectiveness

Goldberg, Mary (2014) Comparative Effectiveness of Online Training in Assistive Technology and its Use for Development of Rehabilitation Professionals’ Interprofessionality and Reflectiveness. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Assistive technology (AT) is used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible, and a professional designation common to the application of AT is the AT Professional (ATP) held by thousands of health professionals and suppliers. A novel hybrid continuing education certificate program was developed at the University of Pittsburgh to prepare practitioners for the ATP exam through a focus of interprofessional learning and reflective practice. In addition to an expected increase in content knowledge, I hypothesized that both interprofessional learning, defined as interactive and group-based education aimed at improving collaborative practice (Parsell & Bligh, 1999), and reflective practice (Schon, 1983), or the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning, would increase after trainees’ participation in the hybrid program as a result of the program’s design. I conducted a mixed methods assessment consisting of validated questionnaires and a unique qualitative coding scheme on the certificate program. Twenty-eight trainees completed the program. A convenience sample of twenty-eight matched control subjects who completed a similar individual online certificate program was also included to draw marginal inferences between the two groups. Based on pre/post assessments analyzed through STATA and Dedoose data analysis software, trainee gains were made in areas of content knowledge, interprofessionality, and reflectiveness. Predictors of learning outcomes included a trainee’s background knowledge, job, and expertise level. The hybrid training group had greater increases in content knowledge, interprofessionality, and reflectiveness compared to the online group. Study limitations include selection bias, insufficient pre/post data from the control group, the author’s role in the program, and the particular treatment level. This study may be of interest to higher education administrators, faculty in education, health sciences, and those interested in the implications of online vs. hybrid continuing education programs. As the findings are concretely related to AT, continuing education, and online programs, my recommendations will assist those developing AT programs and the trainees that are taking them, as a result of more comprehensive and effective pedagogy and content. Subsequently, these findings may also assist the beneficiaries of the trainees, the clients who are seeking AT, due to the optimal prescription of devices and recommended solutions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Goldberg, Marymrh35@pitt.eduMRH35
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberPage, Lindsaylpage@pitt.eduLPAGE
Committee MemberSchmeler, Mark Raymondschmeler@pitt.eduSCHMELER
Committee MemberSutin, Stewartssutin@pitt.eduSSUTIN
Date: 31 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 November 2013
Approval Date: 31 January 2014
Submission Date: 12 December 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 178
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assistive technology, online learning, continuing education, interprofessionality, reflectiveness
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 14:28
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2019 06:15


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