Do we have what it takes? An investigation into New Zealand occupational therapists' readiness to be self-directed learners
In 2005, the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand (OTBNZ) introduced the Continuing Competence Framework for Recertification (CCFR) which included the mandated requirement for occupational therapists to regularly maintain an online professional development portfolio as part of the evidence required to demonstrate ongoing competence to practice. In designing the process, the assumption made was that all occupational therapists would have the attributes for, and skills of, self-directed learning, however, the degree to which this assumption holds true is not known for this population, nor is it known whether readiness to be a self-directed learner influences occupational therapists’ use of the CCFR as a professional development tool. The aims of this study were to determine the extent to which occupational therapists are ready to be self-directed learners, the factors which influence readiness to be a self-directed learner, and whether or not there is a connection between occupational therapists’ readiness to be a self-directed learner and their use of the CCFR as a professional development tool. Using a convergent parallel mixed methods design, data was collected from 173 participants via an online questionnaire, consisting of demographic and occupational questions and the Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale (Fisher, King, & Tague, 2001) adjusted for this study, and an in-depth interview with 16 participants based on their CCFR, analysed using Garrison’s (1997) Self-directed Learning model. Through triangulation of the qualitative and quantitative data analysed, the research question was answered in the affirmative, in that for the majority of participants, there did appear to be a connection between occupational therapists’ use of the CCFR as a professional development tool and self-directed learning readiness. Whereas the results of this study indicated that the majority of participants in this study were ready to be self-directed learners, factors influencing the use of the CCFR included beliefs or attitudes to learning, the degree of metacognitive awareness of themselves as learners, and personal definitions of competence to practice, with experience in supervision of allied health students and occupational therapists, and years employed, influencing self-directed learning readiness. The findings of this study have implications for occupational therapists, the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, and academic institutions delivering occupational therapy programmes.
Advisor: Wing-Lai, Kwok; Smith, Jeffery
Degree Name: Doctor of Education
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: self-directed learning; mandatory professional development; convergent parallel mixed methods; metacognition; self-directed learning readiness; occupational therapists; health professional regulation; Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale (Fisher, King, & Tague, 2001); Self-directed Learning model (Garrison, 1997)
Research Type: Thesis