Background and Purpose.
The evolving nature of clinical education requires program evaluation to inform intentional curriculum development. However, descriptions of the application of curriculum development frameworks in physical therapy are sparse. We used the context/input/process/product (CIPP) model to guide a didactic and clinical education curriculum reorganization that included the creation of a series of five integrated clinical experience (ICE) courses threaded throughout the first two years of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.
Method/Model Description and Evaluation.
The CIPP model guided comprehensive program evaluation. Context evaluation summarized strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Input evaluation of information from multiple stakeholders and external influences, including accreditation standards, practices at other academic institutions, and published literature, was used to guide changes in the clinical education curriculum. Goals, objectives, and themes were developed for intentional alignment of didactic and clinical education curricula, alongside clinical site development and logistical planning. Process evaluation monitored the implementation of the new clinical education program to identify and address problems. The program is currently in the process of detailed product evaluation.
ICE courses were initially implemented at eight clinical sites. Course assessments were selected and administered at established intervals. Program outcome measures were identified and administered to 2 control cohorts from the original DPT curriculum, and the first cohort in the new DPT curriculum.
Discussion and Conclusion.
The process used a structured approach to curriculum development. It emphasized the necessity of engaging multiple stakeholders, developing strong clinical partnerships, and intentional design and placement of courses within the overall curriculum to ensure the quality of ICE courses.