Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Teaching and Learning

Evidence-Based Practice

Innovative occupational therapy education to create evidence-based practice in community settings
Tina De Angelis, EdD, OTR/L

This project integrates community-based fieldwork experiences and program development coursework to plan and implement sustained, evidence-based occupational therapy services in new environments within community practice. Level 1 Fieldwork students survey organization and clients to identify perceived needs. They develop and implement therapeutic group protocols. Results from this experience contribute data to a needs assessment completed by faculty. Program development processes are taught as students develop Level 2 Fieldwork programs for implementation in these sites.

Evaluating the Impact of Intensive EBP Courses on Perceived Knowledge, Skills and Use of Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice
Teal Benevides, MS, OTR/L
Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L
Robert Walsh, MS, OTR/L

The purpose of this research project was to evaluate the impact of a curriculum change, implemented in September 2008, on occupational therapy graduates’ attitudes, beliefs, perceived knowledge, skills and use of evidence based practice in clinical settings. Graduates of the Department of Occupational Therapy from 2007-2011 were sampled regarding these constructs via an electronic survey methodology. Understanding and using evidence in practice improves healthcare delivery (Lugtenberg, Burgers, & Westert, 2009), reduces errors, and increases professional identity (Law & MacDermid, 2008). The findings of this research will advance teaching methods  to adequately train occupational therapists in the use of evidence in occupational therapy practice.

Fieldwork Education

Applying the Collaborative Model to Fieldwork Education
Caryn Johnson MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
Susan Santalucia, MS, OTR/L

Description of Program of Research: The collaborative model in fieldwork education offers numerous benefits to students, fieldwork educators, and clinical sites. This research program focuses on methods to facilitate development of the collaborative learning model and new fieldwork sites, as well as on outcomes related to student education and the fieldwork educator experience.                                                                       

List of Research Projects:

  • The Evidence-Based Development of Planning and Resource Tools Supporting a Collaborative Model of Fieldwork Education.
  • Creating an Evidence-Based, Data-Driven Model Fieldwork Experience
  • The collaborative fieldwork model: a value-added opportunity for school-based practitioners and stakeholders

Interprofessional Education & Collaboration

Interprofessional Leadership Development, An Unfunded Pilot Research Project
Description of PI/Project Director: Co-PI Stephen B. Kern, Ph.D, OTR/L, FAOTA & Sokah Koeuth, MPH.
Stephen B. Kern, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

This phenomenological study is exploring the transformation in leadership development that occurs during health professions student participation in the health mentors program, one of the institutional interprofessional education programs offered at Jefferson.

Related Programs: JCIPE

Peer Review

Peer Review to Enhance Teaching Effectiveness in Occupational Therapy Curricula
Kim Mollo, MS, OTR/L
Arlene Lorch, OTD, OTR/L, CHES
Tina De Angelis, EdD, OTR/L
Mary Muhlenhaupt , OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

The quality of teaching in occupational therapy education is a critical factor in preparing occupational therapists who will be competent practitioners, researchers and leaders in the field. A program of peer review has been identified as a valuable method for helping groups of educators to maintain and improve the quality of teaching within higher education. This program highlights the steps taken to establish a peer review process in JSHP’s program of occupational therapy education. Data concerning the impact of this peer review process on teaching effectiveness and student learning are included. Outcomes are derived from faculty participation in JSHP’s OT peer review pilot program.


Instrument Development to Assess a Debriefing Facilitator in Simulation Education of Healthcare Providers Funding Source-Delaware Health Science Alliance
E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

This pilot study is using the Delphi technique to develop and evaluate an instrument that assesses the effectiveness of a debriefing facilitator as part of a simulation learning experience.  This project is being conducted in collaboration with faculty from JSHP Department of Physical Therapy and Department of Nursing at the University of Delaware – DHSA partners. 

Using High-Fidelity Simulation Activities in Occupational Therapy Education

Audrey Zapletal, MS, OTR/L
Kim Mollo, MS, OTR/L
Arlene Lorch, OTD, OTR/L, CHES
Tina De Angelis, EdD, OTR/L
Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L
E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

The purpose of this educational study is to understand how the use of standardized patients influences the educational experience and preparation for entry-level OT students.

Teaching Students about Health Literacy through Project Based Learning in Virtual Worlds

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L

This ongoing project educates occupational therapy students about health literacy through a project-based learning approach. Student exhibits and events help to promote occupational therapy, provide immersive experiences on health and wellness for persons in Second Life®, and promote collaboration between project personnel and others with an interest in health and wellness. Graduate students participate in the development of exhibits that focus on home and playground adaptations, mental health, musculoskeletal conditions, developmental disability, and healthy aging and use principles of health literacy and interactive exhibit design.

Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions

Faculty Outcomes Research on Teaching and Learning

Creating an Infrastructure to Support Faculty Outcomes Research on Teaching and Learning
Funded by Jefferson School of Health Professions

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L
Susan Wainwright, PT, PhD

The Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI) is a comprehensive program for building faculty capacity to design and implement educational research in a school of health professions. The TLI is a staged program based on Eade's (1997) approach to capacity building, which the authors apply to the academic environment. The TLI comprises 4 stages:

  1. Initial planning and data gathering
  2. Training faculty in educational outcomes research
  3. Faculty submission of educational outcomes research for intramural funding
  4. Participatory action research approach to further develop faculty capacity for the scholarship of teaching and learning, including educational outcomes research.

Conflict Resolution

Translating Occupational Therapy Student’s Knowledge and Skills of Conflict Resolution from Classroom to Clinic
E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

This project addresses teaching and learning through the use of simulation. Research is looking at how occupational therapy students apply the knowledge and skills they have learned about conflict resolution through clinical simulation to interaction with other health care team members in the clinical setting during fieldwork.