Date Presented 03/31/2022

The American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) Vision 2025 promotes OT practitioners working collaboratively within systems (AOTA, 2017). School-based practice is considered the second-largest system, in which 14.5% of OTs in the United States practice (AOTA, 2020). Therefore, there is a need to prepare OT student-clinicians to interact with other professions. An innovative remote school-based interprofessional education (IPE) workshop is an effective method for improving perceptions of OT care coordination in special education systems among professionals.

Primary Author and Speaker: Ellen Berger Rainville

Contributing Authors: Lisa Shooman, Kristina Curro, Sue Foo

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic required a shift in instructional design to prepare OT student-clinicians for investigating the effectiveness of an innovative remote IPE workshop to enable students with disabilities to access their curriculum through the development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), utilize OT, Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), and Special Education (SPED) services, and increase student-clinicians perceptions’ of care coordination given their respective roles and responsibilities. Previous research demonstrated the effectiveness of face-to-face IPE simulations (Coppola et al., 2019; Fleischer et al., 2019; Ludwig & Kerins, 2019). The purpose of this study was to measure the impact of the IPE workshop on the effectiveness of a novel learning approach to IPE for preparing student-clinicians in the assessment and treatment of children with disabilities and significant medical backgrounds in public school settings. The didactic workshop provided researchers with a unique opportunity to explore the effectiveness of remote instructional methods on IPE delivery.

DESIGN: Student-clinicians from three disciplines: OT, SLP, and SPED, were recruited to participate in the study from their respective master’s programs. A quantitative semi-experimental design was used to measure participants’ (N = 77) perceptions of the effectiveness of the IPE workshop. Quantitative outcomes were measured by administering two pre-test and post-test surveys: an in-house developed IPE School-Based Survey (IPESBS) and the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Scale-Revised (ICCAS) (Schmidt et al., 2017).

METHOD: Pre-test quantitative survey data was collected prior to the beginning of the IPE workshop. A case history about a 9-year-old student with disabilities was disseminated to the student-clinicians and discussed prior to the workshop in their respective courses. During week one, the student-clinicians were assigned readings to prepare them for developing the IEP. During week two, the student-clinicians participated in an asynchronous module designed to provide information regarding each profession, the IEP development process, and the roles and responsibilities of other professions for care coordination. Week 3 consisted of a remote synchronous workshop where student-clinicians simulated an IEP meeting in groups consisting of representatives of each profession. In the small team groups, student-clinicians discussed the case study, presented findings from their respective evaluations and professions, and collaborated to develop an interdisciplinary goal and objective and an individual goal and objective from each profession. Then participants reconvened for discussions and debriefing with professors from each discipline and the entire group. Post-test survey quantitative data were collected at the conclusion of the IPE workshop.

RESULTS: The mean of the pre-test ICCAS survey was 3.53 (SD = 0.69), and the mean of the post-test was 4.37 (SD = 0.47). A significant increase from pre-test survey data to post-test survey data was found (t (76) = -10.293, p < 0.001). A one-way ANOVA compared the pre and post scores in the IPESBS (F(2,71) = 8.59, p < 0.001) with a post-hoc correction for multiple comparisons among the three groups (OT, SLP, and SPED). Simple pairwise comparisons showed a significant difference was found among the three groups in their understanding of the IEP development process (p < 0.001.)

CONCLUSION: An IPE workshop utilizing asynchronous and synchronous remote formats is an effective method for improving OT, SLP, and SPED student clinicians’ perceptions of IEP development to improve curriculum access, service utilization, and care coordination for students with disabilities in school settings.


Schmitz, C. C., Radosevich, D. M., Jardine, P., MacDonald, C. J., Trumpower, D., & Archibald, D. (2017). The Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS): A replication validation study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(1), 28–34.

Coppola, A. C., Coppard, B. M., & Qi, Y. (2019). Impact of participation in an interprofessional acute care high-fidelity simulation for occupational and physical therapy graduate students. Journal of allied health, 48(4), 248–256.

Fleischer, A., Fisher, M. I., & O’Brien, S. P. (2019). Creating an interprofessional collaborative research opportunity for physical and occupational therapy students. Journal of Allied Health, 48(4), E117-E122.

Ludwig, D. A., & Kerins, M. R. (2019). Interprofessional Education: Application of Interprofessional Education Collaborative Core Competencies to School Settings. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 4(2), 269–274. Students with Disabilities. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved July 30, 2020 from∼:text = In%202018%E2%80%9319%2C%20the%20number,of%20all%20public%20sch