Clinical Instructors’ Perception of the Impact of the Problem Based Learning Pillars for Successful Clinical Education Experiences for Doctor of Physical Therapy Students


Enrolling in higher education involves research of program characteristics that influence student learning.1 The typical lecture-based program disseminates information from teacher to student2 where Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a strategy using active, small group discussions of clinical cases, has grown in use in academia.3-5 PBL represents a shift from faculty centered instruction to student centered learning as students navigate problems while faculty facilitate growth of clinical reasoning skills and interprofessional collaboration, placing more onus on students.5-7 Research shows PBL is preferred over lecture-based learning because of the practical usefulness.8 This pedagogy fosters independent and accurate research, sharpens problem-solving capabilities, and sends a more polished product into the workforce.7 Navigating Problem Based Learning identifies eight non-cognitive skills/behaviors, labeled PBL pillars in this research, that can leave an excellent impression.7 The purpose of this research is to examine the clinical instructors’ (CIs) perceptions of the impact these PBL educational pillars have on the Clinical Education (CE) experiences for Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students. It is hypothesized that the CIs’ top three PBL pillars ranked in order of importance will be the same three PBL pillars receiving the highest Likert scale ranking as reasons for success.


A sample of convenience is being used to recruit participants from the list of CIs who assist in the CE experiences for a DPT program with a fully PBL curriculum. An online survey is being electronically administered. Participants are asked to report the impact the PBL pillars have on successful CE experiences using an eight-point ranking scale (numerical ranking) of importance and a five-point Likert scale (stars) identifying the amount of impact each pillar has on the CE experiences.


This survey is in the process of being administered and no official results/outcomes are able to be reported at the time of this submission. This study is a follow up to a similar one in which the students in a fully PBL curriculum were asked to report the impact the PBL pillars had on successful CE experiences using the same eight point ranking scale and five point Likert scale.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

Data analysis is not completed at the time of this submission as the results are still being collected. This research can provide information from the CIs’ perspective on which PBL pillar(s) have the greatest impact on strengthening the clinical reasoning and interprofessional skills of DPT students, allowing for successful CE experiences.


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  • Control #: 2752502
  • Type: Posters
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Rhonda Haley, Dr. Krissy Grubler, Kyle Connery, Cody Giles, David Heinitz
  • Keywords:

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