Poster Session

Critical Thinking, There’s an App for That!

Track: Assessment

Thursday, 12:45pm–2:00pm

Abstract
Fostering higher-level learning is essential in the education of students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Mentoring future practitioners in the ability to think critically requires continued assessment within the curriculum. In today’s technology driven world, many students are comfortable continuously accessing and disseminating information via tablet and smartphones applications. There is continuity and value in assessing learning in this fashion. I will present my use of the web and application-based program Socrative© to encourage instructors to assess student learning via a question and answer format that seamlessly integrates into classroom lectures in real-time.

Del Rossi, Lauren

Presentation Content
Summary Statement:
I will present how Socrative© works, my successes and failures in utilization and how other educators can utilize this program to enhance classroom learning.

Description of activity, project, or solution:
As both a young educator in and a recent graduate of the program in which I teach, I have a unique perspective on the strengths of the DPT program at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. One such strength is the college’s significant value of assessment and attaining essential learning outcomes of students. I became interested in mentoring students to think critically at the Doctoral level and made development of this skill a focus of my course objectives. Assessing student learning at the time of a content examination often doesn’t benefit student understanding of material.
In an observation of students utilizing technology on a daily basis to access social media, I sought out to find a program that I could use to assess how well students were understanding course content while I lectured. Programs such as Socrative©, allow students to quickly complete instructor made quizzes via laptops, tablets or smartphones and makes it easy to get the pulse on students understanding in a timely fashion. Additionally, Socrative© places students results into a spreadsheet sent via email that allows instructors to track progress over time.
The pace and structure of class in the DPT program is very rigorous. Through use of this application in multiple courses within the second year of doctoral curriculum, I found a way to connect to students and gather a substantial understanding of their experience in addition to that of course content comprehension. I utilized open-ended and short answer questions within the Socrative© platform to frequently survey students on their previous knowledge on lectured subjects, their purchase and use of textbooks and their perspective on the value of a of classroom experiences outside of traditional lecture and laboratory. I was able to identify students that appeared to struggle with synthesis and integration of knowledge before the test. Students reported enjoying the ability to gauge their understanding against professor expectations in a more private manner.

Outcome:
Through anecdotal evidence in student comments, use of the Socrative© program was largely a success in seemlessly integrating into the classroom experience. In review of the results of laboratory practical examinations and written examination results, students that were previously observed to struggle were successful. My student evaluations of teaching were noted to be strong in areas that specifically asked students about my abilities to foster deeper learning.

Additional use of student reported data on textbook purchase and use will serve as the basis of further study in pass rates of students on the national physical therapist examination.

Importance or relevance to other institutions:
Because assessments are instructor created within the platform, use of Socrative© can enhance learning of students at multiples levels within varying levels of course work.

Bio
Lauren Del Rossi is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, instructing students in the area of pediatrics in the second and third years of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Lauren comes from a background of clinical practice focusing on children that are medically fragile & technology dependent. Lauren has taken this passion for technology in medicine and fostered technology-infused classroom instruction to challenge students to be dynamic and engaged learners. Through this everyday focus on innovative technology, Lauren encourages students to enter clinical practice as agents of change by infusing their comfort with technology with their abilities to utilize evidence based practices.