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Innovations in Education

Dr. Smallfield mentors students interested in Innovations in Education.This scholarly experience gives students opportunities to gain knowledge, skills and experience in education-related projects such as educational research, curriculum development, instructional design, program evaluation and scholarship of teaching and learning activities. Students should consider working with Dr. Smallfield if they are interested in developing innovations in student wellness, the science of learning, instructional technology, patient and caregiver education (specifically related to older adults), professional and educational leadership, interprofessional education, or establishing a foundation for a career in academia on a clinician track.

General Description of Student Activities

Students will use a variety of quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review approaches to investigate teaching, learning, and educational research questions. Students participate in journal clubs, peer-to-peer learning, literature reviews, project development and data analysis. They will design a project related to innovations in occupational therapy education, implement the project and analyze the findings either individually or in small groups. Students may be guided in program development, implementation, and evaluation of outcomes, building on the work of previous students. Students are expected to produce a manuscript that can be published in peer-reviewed literature, and will have the opportunity to present their research findings at local, state and national conferences.

Examples of Projects

  • A comparison of MSOT and OTD degree outcomes
  • The effects of exercise on student stress and learning
  • Exploring the self-care practices of occupational therapy graduate students
  • Promoting sleep health to increase well-being among occupational therapy students
  • Resiliency among occupational therapy students


Stacy Smallfield, OTD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine
Assistant Director of Entry-Level Professional Programs

Phone: 314-286-1109

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