APTA Academy of Education

Academy of Education: Excellence in Clinical Education - Translating Classroom Teaching and Learning into the Clinic

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Students enter the clinical setting to integrate their didactic learning and clinical skills. Clinical instructors focus on providing quality learning experiences and feedback on psychomotor skills, patient management skills, and communication skills, but how do CIs know what students are truly learning and what they might need more clarity on? What about the students who seem to have difficulty in a specific area, such as clinical reasoning? How do we evaluate whether the student requires a shift in teaching strategy? Formative assessment is a low-stakes assessment strategy often used in the classroom to help make learning more transparent, change teaching and feedback strategies based on results, and ensure that the content taught is what is learned. Formative assessment can be translated into clinical education for use by the clinical instructor for more effective teaching, assessment of learning, and adaptation to the needs of individual learners. This course will present and discuss specific tools and strategies for beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level clinical education rotations that you can apply immediately with physical therapy students.

Course Objectives:
After this presentation, learners will be able to:

1. Explain the goals of formative assessment and the benefits for students and instructors.
2. Categorize formative assessment activities appropriate for learners in early, intermediate, and terminal clinical experiences.
3. Apply the assessment strategies discussed in today's session to the students in the learner's clinical sites, and adapt them based on the student's current educational level.

Speaker Information:

Dr. Andrea Mierau earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at St. Catherine University in Minnesota. Mierau completed an Ed.D. in healthcare professions education at A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Missouri. Mierau’s scholarly interests include investigating factors contributing to successful clinical education experiences, including teaching and learning practices, professional behavior, quality of life, and DPT students' and clinical instructors' self-efficacy and empathy. Mierau’s clinical interests include central and peripheral vestibular disorders, concussion, Parkinson’s disease, balance disorders, migraine, and cervical spine dysfunction. Dr. Mierau is a certified advanced vestibular physical therapist and a certified LSVT BIG therapist. She also has credentials as a hybrid teaching and learning educator. Mierau serves as the chair of the Abstract of the Week Committee in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) vestibular special interest group and continues to practice monthly treating clients with vestibular, balance, and post-concussion impairments. Mierau’s teaching responsibilities include professional competencies, clinical education, and neuromuscular rehabilitation courses in the DPT curriculum. Mierau is passionate about helping students increase academic and clinical self-efficacy through self-reflection and meta-cognitive activities, relating personal experiences to learning and becoming lifelong learners.

Dr. Allison Durham is the Director of Clinical Education and an Assistant Professor for Bowling Green State University’s DPT Program.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Bowling Green State University in 2005 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Toledo in 2010 and is currently obtaining her Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies from Bowling Green State University. Her nineteen years of combined nursing and physical therapy experience have contributed to the development of expert teaching techniques that prepare the student to transfer didactic material and laboratory skills into the clinical setting. Dr. Durham’s research interests are in the areas of student clinical readiness, clinical reasoning, and improving the clinical experience.

0.1 CEUs will be available for this webinar. 

Course Instructions

  1. Click on the Contents tab to watch the course recording.
  2. Click the Take Quiz button to complete the assessment. Learners will have 3 attempts to pass and must answer at least 70% of questions correctly.
  3. Click Fill Out Survey under the Evaluation listing to provide valuable course feedback. Scroll down on all questions as there may be answer options that expand past the size of the window.
  4. Click the View/Print Your Certificate button under the Certificate listing. You can view/print your certificate at any time by visiting the APTA Learning Center and clicking the CEU Certificate/Transcript link on the left-hand side of the page. 

Need Assistance?

For assistance logging in, accessing activities, claiming credit, or for other questions or concerns, please e-mail learningcenter@apta.org. 


Open to view video.  |  60 minutes
Open to view video.  |  60 minutes
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass Please complete the post-course assessment with a score of 70% or better. You have three attempts to obtain a passing score.
12 Questions
12 Questions Your comments are important to us! Submit your feedback about the course through this evaluation.
CEU Certificate
Up to 0.10 contact hours available  |  Certificate available
Up to 0.10 contact hours available  |  Certificate available Download and save certificate for future use.
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.