Posted in Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L

Using Rubrics to Monitor Outcomes in Occupational Therapy

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Using Rubrics to Monitor Outcomes in Occupational Therapy

Every practice setting that an occupational therapist, or any other health care provider, works in is demanding accountability and transparency. School-based practice is not immune, gone are the days of a teacher’s or therapist’s opinion. Reports are now required to be a balanced assessment of a student’s abilities, strengths and weakness including both formative and summative data. Occupational therapists need to know how to meet the demands of today’s data driven environment. As a research emergent profession, we are called upon to take data systematically. In an educational environment, occupational therapists should be aligning their data collectionmethods and documentation style with teachers. By aligning our documentation style and data collection methods, a more cohesive picture of the student emerges. This allows for more concise development of the IEP and goals targeted toward the student’s individual needs. Data collection need not be difficult. With a little preparation and smart organization planning, data collection becomes easy. When annual review time comes around, goal progress is also easy to report. This allows better planning for the coming year by the Committee on Special Education. Students also benefit by using rubrics in an occupational therapy setting. Some students cannot see or understand the “hidden curriculum.” These students need the guidelines for achievement that others may not. In using a rubric, you are defining the rules by which you consider a goal achieved. This can potentially improve goal progress and decrease the student’s anxiety about being pulled out or having a therapist in the classroom. For some students, a rubric provides the light at the end of the tunnel. With systematic data collection through the use of rubrics, occupational therapists have a unique opportunity to review and interpret the data collected from his or her students to create pilot or ex post facto studies. This can potentially lead to further research. Rubrics can be a win-win situation.

 

Topics Included in this book:

About the Author

Preface

Introduction

Accountability

Why Should Occupational Therapists Use Rubrics?

Critical Thinking, Clinical Reasoning and Clinical Judgment

Thinking like a Researcher

What is a Rubric?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Rubrics for an Assessment

Tips for Rubric Development

How Do Rubrics Relate to the IEP?

Types of Rubrics

Just a Word on Organization

Occupational Therapy Assessment

A Balance between Standardized and Non-Standardized Assessments

A More Complete Picture

Interview

Clinical Observations

Components of a Rubric

Goal/Objective/Benchmark

Scoring/Rating Scales

Criteria

Descriptors

Comments

Individual Skill Rubric

Analytic Rubric

Holistic Rubric

Chapter Five

Why are Other Staff Members Taking Data on my Goals?

Making Goals Measurable

What does Measurable Mean?

Goal Development Chart

Collecting Relevant Data

Formative Data

Summative Data

Data Collection

Paperless?

Case Studies

Joey

Task:  Shoe Tying

Plan:  Assessment

Questions & Answers

Results & Follow Up

Charlotte

Task:  Keyboarding

Plan: Assessment

Questions & Answers

Results & Follow Up

Bibliography

Index

Table 1:  Types of Rubrics

Table 2:  This is an example of a Individual skill rubric with benchmarks for a cutting with scissors goal

Table 3:  Sample of Staff Log-In Sheet

Table 4:  Methods of Assessment

Table 5:  Descriptive Terms to Rate Student’s Performance

Table 6:  Sample Holistic Rubric

Table 7:  Sample Measurable Goals  for IEP

Table 8:  Goal Development Chart

Table 9:  Types of Data

Table 10:  Interpreting Data Worksheet

Table 11:  Double Loop Shoe Tying Assessment Rubric

Table 12:  Double Loop Shoe Tying Assessment Data Sheet

Table 13:  Adapted Double Loop Shoe Tying Rubric

Table 14:  Adapted Double Loop Shoe Tying Assessment Rubric Data Collection Sheet

Table 15: One Hand Keyboarding Assessment

Table 16:  Graphic Representation of Data Collected

Table 17: Keyboarding Assessment Rubric

Table 18:  Assessment Rubric: Putting on Socks with One Hand

Table 19:  Data Collection: Putting on Socks with One Hand

Table 20:  Assessment Rubric:  Packaging Utensils

Author:

I am an occupational therapist with 18 years of experience in the pediatric sector, much of that time as an independent contractor. I am very passionate about my work and my writing. My degrees include a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences and a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Touro College. Since graduating as a non-traditional student, I have worked in a variety of settings throughout the life span but settled in the area of school-based therapy. My interests lie in the area of using technology to support independence and I often train students to use programming not only to monitor their own goal progress but also support educational, vocational and life skills. Another area of particular interest is documentation. As an independent contractor for many years, I feel that it is important to align methods of documenting goal progress with educators for greater consistency and understanding when writing for an IEP. It is better to plan a format for documentation used in the IEP, such as for assessment and goal progress and that a rubric, in many ways, fulfills the need for consistency in documentation across all domains. Combining my interest in technology and documentation, I use Microsoft OneNote to maintain all documentation. I create a digital notebook for each student or patient with any forms required uploaded as templates which can then be completed, and saved automatically. I strongly believe in student centered approach to therapy. Students must be active participants in developing goals and documenting progress. In order to help students understand their progress, I teach my students to develop electronic portfolios and to use spreadsheet programming with graphs to collect data and view progress, whenever possible.