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Athletic Training Students' and Preceptors' Perceptions of Active Learning Time and Bug-in-Ear Technology during Clinical Education Experiences

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Athletic Training Education Journal Volume 12, Number 4, ISSN 1947-380X


Context: Engaging clinical experiences that allow extensive active learning and patient care interactions are important for the professional development of athletic training students. Understanding students' use of clinical time is important when attempting to improve these experiences. Objective: To gain participants' perspectives on active learning during clinical education both with and without the use of bug-in-ear technology. Design: Qualitative. Setting: Three high schools, 2 rehabilitation clinics, 1 university, and 1 community college clinical sites within 3 Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education--accredited undergraduate athletic training programs. Patients or Other Participants: Thirteen athletic training students (11 female, 2 male; 22 ± 2 years old, 2 ± 1 years enrolled in the current accredited athletic training program) and 8 preceptors (5 female, 3 male; 35 ± 10 years old, 3 ± 3 years of experience as a preceptor) volunteered for this study. Main Outcome Measure(s): After observation of the participants' clinical education experiences, individual in-person interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. We used an inductive process of open, axial, and selective coding to identify themes. Trustworthiness was established with member checking, multiple-analyst triangulation, and data source triangulation. Results: Three themes emerged from the data. Participants recognize that students spend much of their clinical time interacting with patients, completing administrative tasks, and doing custodial work. Participants noted their awareness of student activities increased after using the active learning assessment instrument. Lastly, participants perceived that bug-in-ear technology improved the efficiency of task completion but not the actual tasks completed. Conclusions: Since several factors influence the amount of active learning time spent during students' clinical education, athletic training programs may benefit from looking at their own students' time spent during clinical education. Asking students and preceptors to assess active learning time may help them and clinical education coordinators identify ways to increase active learning and decrease unengaged and managerial time.


Nottingham, S.L., Kasamatsu, T.M. & Montgomery, M.M. (2017). Athletic Training Students' and Preceptors' Perceptions of Active Learning Time and Bug-in-Ear Technology during Clinical Education Experiences. Athletic Training Education Journal, 12(4), 216-224. Retrieved September 23, 2023 from .

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