I attended the Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP) course this past weekend in High Point, NC.
In addition to the APTA, this course was put on by three separate entities:
The course itself was two full 8 hour days and was taught primarily by Dr. Sharon Prybylo and Dr. Stephanie Rehm.
I really wasn’t sure exactly what the course was going to entail but I knew I wanted to take it because I take teaching seriously. Both as an adjunct faculty member and as a future clinical instructor. I thought the course would be more clinical-based teaching strategies or reinforcement of areas that would be most critical for a student to learn. However, the course was more about learning strategies and various learning assessments for the adult learner.
Even though the course was not what I expected, I was very pleased with the experience overall and I certainly learned a lot of new information. The course also helped reinforce certain ideas I’ve learned (and forgotten) in the past.
Here are the 10 things I learned from the CCIP course. Note: Many items of this course are copyrighted. This post will not contain any copyrighted information used in the course.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has a position statement on mentoring.
I have copied it below. You can view the pdf, from their website, here.
It is the position of the American Physical Therapy Association that:
It is the responsibility of all academic and clinical faculty, clinical instructors, and professional mentors to actively promote to physical therapist students the importance of professionalism as a critical component of a doctoring profession. Professionalism requires ongoing membership and active participation in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and support of its policies, positions, guidelines, standards, and Code of Ethics. Academic and clinical faculty, clinical instructors, and mentors of physical therapist assistant students shall promote behaviors that are consistent with APTA’s policies, positions, guidelines, standards, and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant, and that support the importance of ongoing membership and active participation in APTA.
I am so thankful to be a part of an organization that promotes learning to the future practitioners within our field.
One purpose, as a clinical instructor, is to put the student at ease and build confidence.
I really loved hearing that. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my shadowing hours and clinical affiliations, as a student, but there were definitely times where I felt like my CI’s really tried to beat me down. I never want to be that kind of teacher. I respect students highly. I would genuinely enjoy my career less if I didn’t not have the opportunity to teach.
We should encourage students to take risk (except in terms of safety)
I liked this as well. I do not believe I took enough risks as a student. I often sought to mirror my CI too frequently instead of using my own creativity. I want to encourage my students to think outside the box and utilize skills, interventions, analogies, etc that I may not use.
The Learning Vector Model and Learning Domains
This was a large portion of the course. The Learning Vector Model, pictured below, and corresponding domains of learning (cognitive, psychomotor, and affective) should always be a focus when teaching students.
Learning Styles and Learning Style Inventories
The identification of student learning styles was another large focus of the course. I really enjoyed seeing the various examples of learning facilitation when using various learning strategies such as experimenting, conceptualizing, experiencing, and reflective observation.
There are several learning inventories available that cost various amounts of money. But I have student loans and I was thankful that the course instructors used a free inventory, called the True Colors inventory, to assess different learning styles. You can view a pdf of it here. I certainly plan on utilizing this with my future students.
The assumption that effective learning is planned…but that there are teachable moments
I loved this. I believe with most of my clinical experiences, there was a lot of teaching the first couple weeks. And then it sort of fizzled out. I’m sure my CI’s had a great deal more to teach me. Maybe they were simply trying to allow me to be more independent. But I believe inadequate planning, beyond the first few weeks, may have made the actual teaching experience dwindle.
My ultimate goal is to build a solid curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students that will help them learn the fundamental facts and skills needed to be a physical therapist while also instilling within them a desire to learn, experiment, and teach themselves.
Learning is most effective when the student is an active participant
One of my professors in PT school said, “I’m a guide on the side; not a sage on the stage.” That always stuck with me.
I could see myself falling victim to over teaching because I have a job where I am an actual lecturer. But being a clinical instructor isn’t done with a power point presentation. I’m thankful for the different strategies I learned to allow my future students to be active participants in the learning process.
Guidelines for Promoting Adult Learning
I thoroughly enjoyed the section that covered areas to promote adult learning. I believe memorization will always be a part of learning. But skills such as the ability to actively listen, to question assumptions, and to reflect on past experiences will always be more important.
Have students create a file of case studies
I thought this was a really great idea. Being a student is stressful and often the various PT programs will have extra work for the students to perform during their clinical semesters. I wouldn’t want to bog students down with extra work. But I believe keeping track of certain cases would help students visualize how various treatment strategies played out.
We should be a coach; not a referee
Referees only point out flaws. That’s literally their job. A coach does that too but will provide answers, encouragement, and learning strategies as needed. I want to be an encouragement and a resource for my students. Not someone who is only pointing out their mistakes.
Overall, I really enjoyed this course and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in teaching undergraduate or graduate students. Certain ideas, within this course, can even help with the education you provide patients and with your own learning strategies.