A Model for a Student-Led Elective in the D.P.T. Curriculum

Purpose: To report on the evolution and sustainability of a student-led, faculty-mentored elective course, Perspectives on Practice. Description: Physical therapy students, with the assistance of a faculty mentor, developed a first-of-its-kind, credit-bearing, student-driven elective course that fits within the graduate physical therapy curriculum.1Taking on the role of course directors, students organize special interest lectures and networking opportunities with physical therapy leaders and graduate students of other healthcare professions. The course completed its third academic year in 2019 and successor leadership was chosen for the 2019-2020 academic year. Student interest in this course indicates that it may be a sustainable learner-centered offering in the curriculum.2 Summary of Use: Students have the opportunity to receive one credit on their transcript for participating in Perspectives on Practice, fulfilling part of a program requirement to take 3 electives. Students seeking credit must have 15 hours of participation and present a final project in front of a panel of invited guests, called PT Think Tank. An average of 6 class meetings have been held each year (Year1 = 6; Year2 = 5; Year3 = 8) on wide-ranging topics such as residency, leadership, pain science, interprofessional case studies, the Level-Up Initiative, women in sports, hot NYPTA topics, and entrepreneurship. Classes use Zoom videoconferencing to invite speakers from across the United States and the world, Facebook live to share content outside the University, and web-based surveys to gather feedback and reflections. Average attendance is 21.8 people (n=359) per class. Yearly total costs are $400 ($68/class) to offer food as classes are typically in the evening. Recent qualitative comments: “[This] has been a great way for me to become more familiar with... current discussions and topics that are researched and implemented into physical therapy practice... I appreciate that the elective is student-driven and I believe the leaders do a great job recruiting different experts to speak with the students here at Columbia.” Importance to Members: While there are reports of student-led offerings in other allied health and medical programs, this credit-bearing, student-led elective is unique in a physical therapy curriculum.3-6Planning to enter its fourth year, there is an expectation that this class will be sustained as long as there is student interest. This course allows students to take responsibility for designing their own learning experiences, exposes them to experts in the field beyond the faculty, and promotes leadership and professional development as teamwork and organization are essential to produce lectures, seminars, and interprofessional networking activities. This course model has the potential to introduce students to deep and self-directed learning as proposed by Fink, facilitate metacognitive thinking as promoted by Marzano, and addresses multiple dimensions of CAPTE accreditation standards.7-9

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  • Control #: 22647
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM 2020
  • Authors: Mahlon Stewart
  • Keywords:

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