Abstract

Objectives. The purpose of these studies was to examine the learning outcomes of a computer-assisted instruction (CAI) tutorial in applied anatomy and kinesiology for occupational therapy students and to determine its applicability for use in two university settings.

Method. Two separate pilot studies were conducted at two universities. In each study, the learning outcomes of an experimental group of occupational therapy students using a CAI program and a control group using books to study the same material were compared. Learning outcomes were assessed with posttest achievement test scores on an applied anatomy and kinesiology test and responses to an attitude questionnaire with Likert-scale items and open-ended questions.

Results. There was no significant difference in the means on achievement test scores for the experimental and control groups in the first pilot study. In the second study, the CAI group scored significantly higher on the achievement test than the control group. In both pilot studies, subjects displayed significantly more positive attitudes toward the CAI program as a learning tool than they did toward traditional self-study with books.

Conclusion. A CAI program in applied anatomy and kinesiology can be an effective supplemental resource for occupational therapy students and can offer a learning experience that students value and perceive as helpful. Establishment of clear learning objectives, use of a theoretical base to design instruction, and development and testing in different educational settings can help improve the quality of CAI programs and ensure their relevance to other curricula.

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