Perceived importance of effective clinical instructor characteristics in athletic training education
The purpose of this study was to investigate effective clinical instructor techniques as exhibited by the certified athletic trainer during a clinical field experience. The Clinical Instructor Survey Tool (CIST) was designed to assess difference in the perceived importance of effective clinical instructor techniques between certified athletic trainers and student athletic trainers. This 20-item survey was based on a 5-point Likert-type scale and categorized into four critical areas: (1) professional competence, (2) involvement/receptivity, (3) instructional practices, and (4) evaluation practices. A five-member expert panel of certified athletic trainers assessed face validity of the CIST and necessary modifications were made. Internal consistency was determined by administering the CIST to thirteen student athletic trainers. Cronbach alpha was.82. The CIST was mailed to a random selection of twenty-eight CAAHEP-accredited undergraduate athletic training education programs from NATA Districts 1, 2, 3, and 9. Subjects consisted of certified athletic trainers (n = 181) and student athletic trainers (n = 499). Statistical analyses were performed on each CIST item to determine there were differences between certified athletic trainers and student athletic trainers regarding their perceived importance of the clinical instructor items. It was concluded that (1) differences were reported among the CAAHEP-accredited athletic training programs in NATA districts 1, 2, 3, and 9 with respect to all perceived areas of effective clinical instruction, (2) a negative relationship was reported between the age and number of years CAAHEP-approved athletic training faculty were clinical instructors and their perceived importance for effective clinical instruction with respect to instructional and evaluation practices, (3) female athletic trainers, both certified and student, reported higher mean differences than their male counterparts with respect to all perceived areas of effective clinical instruction, and (4) second-year student athletic trainers reported higher mean differences than their first-year counterparts on the perceived importance of effective clinical instruction characteristics with respect to involvement/receptivity.