Developmental Timeline

A developmental timeline was developed to assist the occupational therapists serving in the role of fieldwork educator and the occupational therapy students completing specialty fieldwork in low vision rehabilitation. Training of fieldwork educator includes principles of situational leadership that support their anticipated roles in supervising students.

Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model (1996) was used as the underlying framework for the dynamic process of supervision that occurs throughout the duration of a 12-week fieldwork placement. The therapists were instructed in the various roles of directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating. These four leadership styles are used to facilitate the student’s learning depending on the needs of the student with particular activities or tasks assigned during the fieldwork placement, in relation to the student’s level of acquired skills and competencies.

The developmental timeline applies to this model by breaking the twelve week fieldwork placement into 4 units. The first unit aligns with Hersey and Blanchard’s directing stage. This unit consists of weeks 1-3 of the placement. During this time, fieldwork educators orient the student to the facility, policies, and expectations of the fieldwork placement. In general, the fieldwork educator assumes a more directive role in determining the student’s schedule and structuring various learning activities and observations. The fieldwork educator also assesses the student’s readiness to begin to participate in selected aspects of the evaluation and intervention. The student completes orientation to the facility, reviews documents and charts, completes the pre-test knowledge exam, reviews the PowerPoint tutorials, observes a low vision evaluation, completes one or two components of the evaluation, drafts documentation for one or two components of the low vision evaluation, observes a follow-up visit and drafts a note for the visit, and assists the fieldwork educator in intervention sessions.

During weeks 4-6, the fieldwork educator shifts to a coaching role, helping the student begin to assume a more active role with client interactions and interventions. This time period should be used to develop the student’s competencies in administering a low vision evaluation and intervention skills for follow-up sessions. Through coaching and assistance from the fieldwork educator, the student refines performance skills. By the end of week 6, the student should aim to conduct a low vision evaluation with minimal assistance or supervision from the fieldwork educator. In addition, the student should be able to outline intervention and treatment plans for follow-up sessions with the client by the end of week six. Students should be able to conduct intervention sessions, requiring minimal assistance or supervision from the fieldwork educator. The student should also be drafting documentation for the evaluation and intervention sessions. The fieldwork educator will review and approve this documentation for entry in the medical record and billing for the services provided. The student should also complete the mid-term evaluation of the AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student (2002) and review it with the fieldwork supervisor, along with the site specific objectives and competency checklist. The student should collaborate with the fieldwork educator to design a plan and timeline to address areas that need to be developed during the second half of the placement, prior to completing the fieldwork experience.

During weeks 7-9, the student should be refining his or her skills in the low vision evaluation and interventions completed for follow-up sessions. The student should be carrying 50-75% of the caseload with verbal cues / supervision and minimal assistance for addressing new client diagnoses / conditions or complex client needs. The student should take initiative to seek guidance and support from the fieldwork educator as needed. The student should begin to work on his/her project or in-service, as required by the training site/facility. The student should actively be seeking opportunities to complete the site-specific objectives or competencies which have not been completed along with actively engaging in supervision by preparing an agenda for weekly/regular supervision meetings. Overall, during this phase, the fieldwork educator aims to support the student.

During weeks 10-12, the student’s caseload should be increased toward managing a full caseload as indicated by the facility’s standards for entry-level practitioners. In this capacity, the student should be utilizing the fieldwork educator as a resource when necessary. The fieldwork educator should be able to delegate the client caseload responsibilities to the student, serving in the role of a consultant to the student. By the end of week twelve, in preparation for the student’s final evaluation, the student should complete the competency checklist self-evaluation, complete the knowledge examination post-test, and identify skills accomplished during the placement and remaining competencies for skill development and future growth. The student should seek opportunities to complete any of the remaining site-specific objectives and competencies that have not been encountered. The student should complete a project or in-service for the staff that addresses an aspect of low vision rehabilitation. Finally, the student should review the AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student (2002) with the fieldwork educator, complete the AOTA Student Evaluation of the Fieldwork Experience form and discuss it with fieldwork educator, and return any of the Hospital’s property (name badge, keys, etc.) and learning resource materials per facility policies.

See attached documents below.

The materials for this manual which are on this web-site are copyrighted. I understand that Julie Ann Nastasi, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV has granted me access to the professional development resources that she has designed and copyrighted for Specialty Level II Fieldwork in Low Vision Rehabilitation. I intend to use these materials to advance the provision of occupational therapy low vision rehabilitation services and education. I agree to acknowledge Julie Ann Nastasi as the author of these materials. I understand that Julie Ann Nastasi may wish to contact me in the future to follow-up on how this information has been utilized. Please contact: Julie Ann Nastasi, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV at to receive permission to use and reproduce these forms. Contact information will be gathered in order to periodically contact facilities or individuals using the forms in order to further develop the tools to meet the needs of the profession.

File Attachments:

  1. Developmental Timeline

  2. References

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