The University of Newcastle, Australia

World-first occupational therapy student website launch

Thursday, 23 May 2013

An innovative and flexible student-centred website, the first of its kind in the world for occupational therapy students, will be launched at the University of Newcastle today, Thursday 23 May.

World-first occupational therapy student website

Five partner universities, led by the University of Newcastle, developed the Occupational Therapy Competencies Australia (OTCA) website, which encourages student self-assessment, flexible learning and professional development.

The interactive website invites occupational therapy students to set learning objectives, use the practice resources, self-assess their skills and submit evidence of their competencies, resulting in an ePortfolio of evidence that summarises their competencies. The website includes videos, audio files and quizzes. Students invite their educators to verify and track their progress.

University of Newcastle OTCA project leader, Professor Susan Ryan said the resource would complement students' university study, and help prepare competent, career-ready graduates.

"The University of Newcastle fosters and supports innovation in our teaching and learning. Through the OTCA project, the first website of its type in the world for occupational therapy students, we are proud to be supporting and growing the next generation of occupational therapists.

"Occupational therapists play an important role in enhancing the lives of people who have  limitations in their occupational functioning. Occupational therapy helps people to live a more meaningful occupational life."

Professor Ryan said the website could be adapted for inter-disciplinary and international use, as well serve as a platform for future research.

"The OTCA website was presented recently at three national occupational therapy meetings and attracted interest from other Australian, New Zealand and other international universities who would like to adopt the website for their occupational therapy programs." 

The project, funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, was mapped to the 2010 Australian Minimum Competency Standards for New Graduate Occupational Therapists (ACSOT) published by Occupational Therapy Australia (2010).

The University of Newcastle's partner universities on the project are University of Western Sydney, La Trobe University, Charles Sturt University and James Cook University.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, will launch the Occupational Therapy Competencies Australia website 4pm-6pm on Thursday May 23 at the University of Newcastle Callaghan campus, HA04 Hunter Building.

  • Sharon Buckland
  • Phone: +61 2 4985 4049

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