College of Health Professions

Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science

Student Handbook 2011-2012

V. Department Information: Didactic Coursework

G. Independent Study / Directed Reading Guidelines

At various times throughout the program, a student may decide that he or she could benefit from an additional experience, or wants to learn more about an area of occupational therapy that is not emphasized by the established curriculum. In addition, the student may need to demonstrate professional skills or clinical reasoning prior to participation in Level II Fieldwork. For any such circumstance, the student should register for the appropriate course, which may include an independent study or directed readings. The following guidelines will assist the student in designing the learning opportunity.

1. The student identifies an appropriate faculty advisor and obtains the faculty member's consent prior to registering for the independent study or directed reading. The student must present a brief written plan for the independent study/directed readings before receiving a permit to register for this type of experience.

2. The student develops a written outline of the proposed project and sufficient substantiation of number of units for which the student wishes to register. This outline should be formulated prior to registration.

3. The student has the responsibility for working collaboratively with the faculty member when a clinical placement must be found. The degree of student responsibility is to be determined by the faculty member. The student may have full responsibility for finding the clinical placement or may be assisted by the faculty member.

4. The student develops a complete written proposal for content of independent study/directed readings and method to be used for evaluating student's performance. Proposal and evaluation method must have faculty members signed approval in writing. Proposal must be presented to faculty member within the first two weeks of the semester to insure a timely beginning of the project. Proposal must use a contract format with both student and faculty member signing the agreement. Both individuals must have a copy of the plan.

Items which must be included in this proposal/contract include the purpose and learning objectives of the independent study, type of assignments, due dates, grading criteria for assignments. Examples of additional items which may be included in this proposal/contract include the specific workshop to be attended, or presentation date and details.

5. When the written proposal is approved, the faculty advisor and the student set a schedule for meeting during the semester. If the project is three or more units at least a midterm and final meeting for the purpose of providing feedback to the student on his/her progress and/or performance must be held.

Independent Study (OCTH 318, OCTH 692, OSC 891, 1-6 units)

The goal of the independent study is to provide the student with an opportunity to investigate in-depth an area of interest in occupational therapy or occupational science in accordance with their educational level and program requirements. Options for the independent study include clinical-based experiences, teaching-based experiences, workshop-based experiences and research-based experiences. Level I or Level II Fieldwork Remediation Experiences may also be conducted through the independent study format, but policies related to repeating fieldwork should guide that independent study

Clinically Based Experiences basic requirements:
• Clinical experience: 20 hours of clinical time per credit hour (i.e. 60 hours for 3 credits, 80 hours for 4 credits).
• Written assignments are required. The specific details of the assignment are to be determined by the faculty member and the student. They may include client evaluations, intervention plans, case studies, presentations, use of technologies, or alternate assignments.
• Assignments are to be selected to illustrate accomplishment of the learning objectives set forth when the independent study is proposed.

Teaching based Experience basic requirements:
• Classroom teaching experience and presentations to be determined by the student in collaboration with the faculty member (i.e. laboratory assistance in OCTH 221 Clinical Kinesiology.
• Written assignments are to be determined by the student in collaboration with the faculty member.

Workshop based Experience basic requirements:
• Workshop attendance
• Assignments to be determined by the student in collaboration with the faculty member prior to workshop attendance; outcome of workshop attendance may be a presentation of information with the audience negotiated between the student and faculty member. A written assignment may also be utilized.

Research based Experience basic requirements:
• The student may participate in specific aspects of a research study, as agreed upon with the faculty member. The assignments must reflect the objectives of the independent study.

Directed Readings (OCTH 691, OSC 892, 3-6 units)

The directed reading study involves more in-depth learning of selected topics in occupational therapy or occupational science. Directed readings should include some combination of the following or an alternative determined by faculty member and student.

Written Assignments
• Annotated bibliography with 60 articles and/or book chapters OR
• Critical analysis paper with 45 references (approximately 50 pages length) OR
• Article appropriate for submission to a professional journal, written in the format required for the journal to which it will be submitted.

Annotated bibliography
• Total of 60 articles and/or book chapters
• References may be partially from bibliographies provided by workshop / conference speakers, but no more than half of all citations should be obtained this way.
• Summary of article (objective) and brief critique of article (analysis, opinion) should be written and formed into a binder.
• Paper must be type written and in APA format.

Critical Analysis Paper
• Approximately 50 pages in length, from at least 45 sources
• References may be partially from bibliographies provided by workshop / conference speakers, but no more than half of all citations should be obtained this way.
• All references must be related to one key or primary concept
• Paper provides introduction to topic, summaries of each reference with brief critique of each, comparison / contrast of reference documents, and conclusion
• Paper must be type written and in APA format.

Oral Presentations
• The presentation should be 3-6 hours in length, and allow appropriate time for questioning
• Outline or handout is provided which includes the key points of the presentation and bibliography of at least 8-10 references
• Audiovisual materials or use of technology is appropriate to the topic and adds interest to the presentation
• May include classroom or workshop presentations with preparation and submission of associated paper for journal publication.

Department consent is required for admission to all occupational therapy major courses.




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