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Innovations in Education

Dr. Taff mentors students interested in Innovations in Education. This scholarly experience gives students opportunities to gain knowledge, skills and experience in educational-related projects, including educational research, curriculum development, instructional design, program evaluation and scholarship of teaching and learning activities. Students should consider this experience if they are interested in developing innovations in the science of learning, instructional technology, fieldwork education, patient and caregiver education, professional and educational leadership, interprofessional education, public health education and establishing a foundation for a career in educational contexts. In general, personal transportation is not required.

General Description of Student Activities

Student work will use a variety of quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review approaches to investigate problems and possibilities in teaching, learning and education. This includes evaluating teaching methods, interprofessional education, use of technology and media in classrooms, gauging the effect of student stress on mental health/academic performance or investigating student attributes and their influence on learning. Students will also be guided in developing educational/training needs assessments, curricular design and evaluation of educational outcomes in both student and clinical education settings. Students are expected to produce a thesis 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

  • Designing and assessing a formative and summative course evaluation system that informs individual courses, course series and across all courses in the curriculum
  • Assessing the student learning experience based upon teaching method and context
  • A historical systematic review of the use of theory in occupational therapy education, 1940-2015
  • Exploration of the use of online and blended learning in health-care education, including literature review, measurement of faculty and learners’ perceptions and courses/learning activities in the WUOT curriculum where this technology could be useful
  • Analysis of the efficacy and design of the Integrative Curriculum Event (ICE)


Steve Taff, PhD, OTR/L, FNP, FAOTA

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine
Director, Division of Professional Education

Phone: 314-286-0043

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