Observations and perceptions of the physical presence, cooperation, and communication between athletic training clinical and classroom instructors
The education of a student athletic trainer involves a balance between theory and application. This can be stated as a balance between classroom and clinical education. The instructors working in these two settings must work together to promote the overall educational process. The purpose of this study was to determine if the working relationship between the clinical and classroom instructors has an effect upon the education of the student. The working relationship was defined as the physical presence, cooperation, and communication between the clinical and classroom instructors. A questionnaire was designed to measure the observations and perceptions of clinical instructors, classroom instructors, and student athletic trainers. Nineteen of the twenty-one (90%) athletic training educational programs solicited for involvement in this study responded. A total of 737 questionnaires were distributed and 547 were returned (74%). Data was coded and analyzed using SPSS 8.0. Results indicated that clinical and classroom instructors observed the frequency of cooperation differently, with the classroom instructors rating observations of cooperation at a higher frequency than clinical instructors. Additionally, it was shown that students observed the frequency of communication differently than did the clinical and classroom instructors, with the students rating observations of communication at a lower frequency than did the clinical and classroom instructors. Finally, analysis indicated that all three groups agreed that the physical presence, cooperation, and communication between the clinical and classroom instructors has a large effect upon the first-time passing percentage of students on the NATABOC examination.