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Self-Assessment of Professional Behaviors

The Process: Students engage in a process of reflection about and self-assessment of their professional behaviors across five semesters in the occupational therapy curriculum. A professional self-assessment form structures the reflection, a series of graded course assignments shape the process, and interactions among student, course instructor, and advisor establish an ongoing developmental relationship. The process aims to address concerns or desired learning that is targeted by students.

The process is occupational in that students complete forms at regular intervals and make concrete plans for improvement. The process is self-directed in that students target behaviors that they consider in need of improvement. The process is confluent in that cognitive, affective, and experiential components of professionalism constitute the performance criteria.

The Self- Assessment Form:

The rating scale on the self-assessment parallels that used on the Field Work Performance Evaluation (FWPE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The performance criteria identified on the self-assessment:

  1. can be linked with the core values of the profession of occupational therapy,
  2. draw from those behaviors identified as important in a literature review,
  3. overlap with several performance criteria expected on fieldwork performance and in clinical practice, and
  4. are considered significant by occupational therapy faculty in this setting.

The Student-Faculty Dynamic

Course Instructors:
Students complete self-assessment forms within courses taught by instructors who review the forms to assure that completed assignments meet the established criteria that are noted below. Course instructors may informally chat with students about their perceptions of student assessments if they believe that such conversation would be helpful. If, for example, a student questions a performance observed in the course, underestimates or overestimates performance, or makes a comment that invites an instructor response, such chats "in the moment" might be helpful. The substance of those chats might also be shared informally with the student's advisor.

Academic Advisors:
Instructors distribute students' completed forms to advisors who review the self-assessments and comments so that any student-identified concerns or difficulties can be noted and addressed in a timely way. Advisors may invite students to discuss the forms if they have questions or concerns about any assessment ratings or comments made. If a student's comments signal a need for faculty support or guidance, such meetings are expected as part of the advisor's role. If together the student and faculty determine that a professional development plan be put in place, they are encouraged to use the department's Professional Development Plan.

Criteria for Completion of the Self-Assessment of Professional Behaviors Form:

Instructors communicate directions and criteria for completing the form
Instructors review the form for the following criteria before assigning a grade:

  • Each professional behavior is given a numerical rating, according to instructions.
  • Each comment section is completed using full sentences.
  • If the semester is one within a plan for change should be present, that plan is clearly and specifically described.
  • The form is turned in a timely manner.
  • Comments are legible.
  • All comments are word-processed or made in black or blue pen.
  • Signature and date are present.
  • The form is in good physical condition (neat and clean).

Instructors assign point value for the meeting of these criteria. Students may be asked to complete or revise the form if important criteria are not met.

Semester course assignments that structure the process

Semester 1 (Fall)

  • Introduction to the process and the forms in Chair's Hour

Semester 2 (Spring)

  • Instructor distributes the form during the first week of Individual Ways of Being so that students can remember and attend to the behaviors indicated.
  • Instructor grounds the process in the construct of the therapeutic use of self and the Core Values and Attitudes document of the AOTA.
  • Students complete the assessment at the end of the course
  • Satisfactory completion of the form accounts for 5% of the course grade
  • Completed forms are shared by course instructor with faculty advisors who may invite students to discuss a student's perceived concerns or difficulties.

Semester 3 (Summer)

    A: Self-Assessment

  • Instructor returns the form to students in the first week of Group Ways of Being
  • Students review the first completed form and designate an area for improvement and add to the form a specific plan for doing so.
  • At the end of the course, students complete a second assessment, making comments that reflect consideration of their perceptions from the previous semester.
  • Students comment on progress made in their targeted behavioral plan.
  • Satisfactory completion of the form accounts for 5% of the course grade
  • Completed forms are shared by course instructors with faculty advisors who may invite students in to discuss a student's perceived concerns or difficulties.

    B: Peer Feedback

  • As a course assignment each student will receive feedback from peers on each of the behaviors on the Self-Assessment Form. The feedback will consist of numerical ratings only, and through an anonymous process.
  • As a course assignment, students will identify one outstanding professional behavior for each person in the peer group. Students will then share this perception individually in a brief face-to-face dialogue with each peer.

Semester 4 (Fall)

  • Instructor returns the form to students in the first week of Ways of Being Seminar
  • Students review the second completed form and designate an area for improvement and add to the form a specific plan for doing so.
  • At the end of the course, students complete a second assessment, making comments that reflect consideration of their perceptions from the previous semester.
  • Students comment on progress made in their targeted behavioral plan.
  • Satisfactory completion of the form accounts for 5% of the course grade
  • Completed forms are shared by course instructors with faculty advisors who may invite students in to discuss a student's perceived concerns or difficulties.

Semester 5 (Spring)

  • Instructor returns the form to students in the first week of Ways of Enabling Seminar
  • Students review the third completed form and designate an area for improvement and add to the form a specific plan for doing so.
  • At the end of the course, students complete a second assessment, making comments that reflect consideration of their perceptions from the previous semester.
  • Students comment on progress made in their targeted behavioral plan.
  • Satisfactory completion of the form accounts for 5% of the course grade
  • Completed forms are shared by course instructors with faculty advisors who may invite students in to discuss a student's perceived concerns or difficulties.

Semester 6 (Summer)

    A: Self-Assessment

  • Instructor returns the form to students in the first week of Experience of Practice
  • Students review the fourth completed form and designate an area for improvement and add to the form a specific plan for doing so.
  • At mid-semester students complete a self-rating and submit to the instructor. The instructor meets with the students to ask questions, offer suggestions, and share divergent perspectives if these exist.
  • At the end of the course, students complete a second assessment, making comments that reflect consideration of their perceptions from the previous semester.
  • Students comment on progress made in their targeted behavioral plan.
  • Numerical scores assigned to the form account for 10% of the course grade
  • Completed forms are shared by course instructors with faculty advisors who may invite students in to discuss a student's perceived concerns or difficulties.

    B. Faculty Assessment

  • At the beginning of the Partnerships in Practice course students are (1) shown an assessment of professional behaviors that has considerable overlap with the behaviors listed on the FWPE and (2) told that they are evaluated on these behaviors, for a grade, in this course.
  • The form will be completed by the instructor at the end of the course.
  • The results of this assessment constitute 10% of the course grade.
  • Students receive the completed from the instructor and have an opportunity to discuss the feedback if that is desired.