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Publication Title

Quality Assurance in Education


Purpose – The purpose of this case study is to describe a simulation-based assessment designed to assure student readiness for a first full-time clinical experience in an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program that transitioned to mixed-mode instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach – A cohort of 40 second-year physical therapy students whose content delivery mode, assessment methods and curricular sequence deviated from the curricular plan participated in a new assessment using standardized patients. The assessment was developed to preferentially address the knowledge, skills, abilities and professional behaviors (KSAs) that were typically assessed with other methods before the pandemic.

Findings – The assessment was useful in identifying students who required additional learning experiences to meet expected levels of competence before transition to a first full-time clinical experience. It also identified KSAs that needed to be strengthened within the entire cohort of students.

Research limitations/implications – This case study provides an example of feasible implementation of an assessment of student readiness for clinical education that may guide future development of standardized assessments in health profession education (HPE) programs that have or plan to transition to mixed-mode content delivery.

Originality/value – This case study highlights the need and process for developing and implementing additional assessments in HPE programs when planned changes or unexpected variations in curriculum delivery occur. This evidence-based assessment preferentially addresses the affective domain of learning and includes competency standards that have recently been developed for physical therapy education in the USA.



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Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing

This manuscript is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International License 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). This manuscript is deposited under this license and any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the license. To reuse this manuscript for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting

Link to full publication on the Emerald Insight's webpage: