Efficacy and efficiency: self-designed versus instructor-designed study tools.

E. B. Stern, R. S. Hassanein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


During the course of their education, occupational therapy students learn to administer complex structured assessments. For easier administration of these assessments, students design note cards, which then replace cumbersome test manuals during administration. This study considered whether students could learn test administration with equal efficiency and efficacy if given test administration note cards rather than having to design their own. The results showed that the subjects using instructor-designed cards earned written test and practical examination scores similar to those of the subjects using self-designed cards. The subjects using instructor-designed cards spent significantly less (p = .003) total time in study than did the subjects using self-designed cards. The difference in time between the two groups was attributable to the time spent designing note cards. Therefore, distribution of instructor-designed note cards appears to offer equally effective and significantly more efficient learning when compared with that produced when students design their own cards. The differences in efficacy and efficiency were similar for students of different learning styles (as classified by Witkin's field-dependence/field-independence continuum) [corrected].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of occupational therapy. : official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

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