This paper describes an innovative, cost-effective method for teaching group dynamics in an occupational therapy curriculum. The revised "Models of Group Dynamics" course incorporated problem-based learning (PBL) sessions and video technology. In this single-semester course, the class of 24 students was divided into small groups of five to seven students. Each group participated in six hours of PBL sessions and six hours of observation. PBL effectively served as the instructional methodology to stimulate group dynamics because it demands that the students engage in the group process by creating an open structure for discussion, negotiating goals, and building team consensus in the group. The PBL experience facilitated the integration of the various content areas of the curriculum by expecting the student to apply previous learning to the construction of a therapeutic treatment plan. Through the use of a closed-circuit video monitor, students in the observation group analyzed group process skills in real time without interruption. This format provided the opportunity for students to generate feedback responses about group process with faculty guidance. The use of a closed-circuit video monitor was a low-cost, effective tool that facilitated the learning process. Measures of student learning indicated that the new course design was effective in meeting course objectives. Measures of the effectiveness of the new course design included focus groups conducted in two time periods: after completion of the course and after completion of fieldwork. The results demonstrated that the course had continuing impact on group skills carried into the fieldwork experience.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of allied health|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2005|