Exploring experiences of using case study as a teaching strategy to learn about spirituality in occupational therapy education
Mthembu, Thuli, G.
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Background. A case study is a teaching strategy that is used in other professions, such as nursing and medicine; however, there are no studies that focus on the experiences of occupational therapy (OT) students regarding the use of a case study to learn about spirituality. Objectives. To explore undergraduate OT students’ experiences of using a case study as a teaching strategy to learn about spirituality. Methods. Exploratory-descriptive qualitative research was conducted, using purposive sampling to select and recruit second-year OT students (N=25) who consented to participate in the study. Transcribed data from three focus group discussions were thematically analysed through a credible process. Results. Two major themes were identified. Theme 1, the importance of a case study as a teaching method, deals with students’ learning experiences of using a case study. Theme 2, skills learnt through a case study, highlights profession-specific and academic skills that students managed to acquire and apply by using a case study as a learning strategy. Conclusion. This study provided insight into the OT students’ experiences of using a case study. The findings are consistent with previous research that focuses on the use of a case study as a teaching strategy, which enabled students to apply their knowledge in a real-life situation by recognising and solving problems through engaging in critical reflection and using various skills. This work contributes to existing knowledge of health sciences education by providing teaching and learning strategies that educators may use to facilitate students’ engagement in collaborative learning.