Briefing and debriefing of student fieldwork experiences: Exploring concerns and reflecting on practice

Authors

  • Lynette Mackenzie

    Corresponding author
    1. Discipline of Occupational Therapy, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
      Ms Lynette Mackenzie, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Hunter Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Email: otlm@mail.newcastle.edu.au
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  • Lynette Mackenzie DipCOT, BAppSc(OT), MEdStud; Lecturer.

Ms Lynette Mackenzie, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Hunter Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Email: otlm@mail.newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

This paper describes a briefing and debriefing process used with occupational therapy students. Without a briefing and debriefing component of fieldwork experiences, there is a potential for fieldwork not to be fully integrated into the curriculum. An example of one briefing activity and one debriefing activity are presented. The briefing activity was designed to explore the perceptions and concerns of students at each stage of the course about imminent fieldwork placements. The debriefing activity investigated second-year student perspectives about valued characteristics of supervisors and students. Written data generated during each activity were analysed using qualitative strategies. Specific concerns for students related to each year of the occupational therapy course were identified. Positive and negative student reflections about their fieldwork supervision were expressed. The value of the fieldwork briefing and debriefing process to enhance student learning is discussed.

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