Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Physical Education

First Advisor

James Mensch


Having a valid and reliable way to measure clinical behaviors in athletic training education is an invaluable tool. The purpose of this study was two-fold; 1) to compare three approaches (diaries, retrospective survey, and observation) to assessing clinical experiences of athletic training students 2) to describe time athletic training students spend during their clinical experience. Participants were athletic training students (n = 9) in their second or third year in the athletic training education program and the student's Approved Clinical Instructor (ACI) (n = 2) whose primary assignment was providing athletic training services to a NCAA Division I football team. There were three procedures for this study. The first was a clinical diary. The students were broken into three groups. One group of students were asked to complete a clinical diary every day, one group was asked to complete a clinical diary for one week and one group did not complete a clinical diary. Students were videotaped four days during their clinical experience and behaviors were coded using an observational instrument. Finally, the athletic training students and their ACI were asked to complete a retrospective activity survey to assess their clinical behaviors. The results from this study suggest students spend most of their time performing preparation task (27.54 min), custodial tasks (29.43 min) and wait time or standing at practice (84.27 min). There was a significant correlation (.709) between perceived (Diary) and observed (Systematic Observation) opportunity time. There was a significant correlation between 1 of the 12 clinical behaviors when examining perceived and observed frequency of each clinical behavior. There was no significant difference between any of the student groups on the end of semester survey. One can assume that filling out a diary does not affect results on the end of semester survey. There was no significant difference on 35 of the 42 questions on retrospective survey completed by the ACI and athletic training student. Although the diaries and retrospective survey were unable measure how often behaviors happened in a given day these instruments were able to measure that behaviors did occur during a given day. The conclusions of this study are: the retrospective survey can give an accurate picture of what is occurring at this clinical site, there exists a disconnect between students and ACIs about how and when learning occurs in the clinical setting, and these instruments can be used by athletic training education programs to evaluate a clinical experience. Measureable outcomes on how affective a clinical experience is can be invaluable for athletic training program review.