The concept of student community has been shown to enhance learning, empower students, and increase engagement in the learning process. An occupational therapy program transformed classroom-based learning to a hybrid platform with over 70% of the course content online and expanded from one to two learning sites. Based on faculty concerns about occupational therapy students' experience of belonging to a community, this study compared student-perceived sense of community in the first and final didactic semesters of a hybrid Master's program. Using the Classroom and School Community Inventory and a Checklist of 24 Points of Contact, faculty found over 90% of students reported a sense of community with no significant differences from start to finish of the didactic program, or between learning sites. Furthermore, students reported informal, out-of-classroom interactions with colleagues, group assignments, and face-to-face classroom sessions as the strongest points of contact contributing to a sense of student community.
- Hybrid learning
- Occupational therapy curricula
- Student community