Teaching and learning preferences of ‘Generation Y’ occupational therapy students in practice education

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2016, 23 (8), pp. 371 - 379
Issue Date:
2016-08-01
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© 2016 MA Healthcare Ltd.Background/Aims: Practice education is integral to health professional curricula. There is emerging evidence that student generational attributes may be impacting on practice education. Students born between 1982 and 2000, termed ‘Generation Y’, are said to have a different outlook on learning to those students from other generational groups. However, there is little research from student perspectives to investigate these claims. This study aimed to identify ‘Generation Y’ occupational therapy students’ preferred teaching and learning approaches in practice education. Methods: Using a qualitative descriptive approach and purposive sampling, 22 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with third and fourth year ‘Generation Y’ occupational therapy students from one Australian university. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically. Findings: Four themes emerged from the data: developing practice skills and confidence; essential communication; valued educational approaches; and the supervisory relationship and the team. Conclusion: Findings relate to ‘Generation Y’ characteristics. Practice educators may need to consider that these students have unique learning preferences. Students prefer ‘doing’ to observing, they want to be given clear expectations and responsibility for their own work tasks, they want to work in a team, they prefer to self-evaluate prior to feedback and access to the internet is essential for their learning.
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