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Alabama State University Research Report

By: Gabrielle Gooden and Kaitlyn Guillory

Methodology:

The purpose of this study is to assess the satisfaction of individuals utilizing Pass the OT. As soon to be graduates, the student researchers were particularly interested in methods for improving board passage. As of January 2019, only four articles were found about the NBCOT® exam that were relevant to this study. Two of the articles found discussed the factors that contribute to the passing of the NBCOT® exam. The other two articles discussed the effectiveness of specific preparatory courses that help aid in the passing of the NBCOT exam. However, none of these articles applied directly to our study.

Prior to research implementation, both members of the research team successfully completed Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program training. This allowed the student researchers to learn basic procedures pertaining to research conducted with human subjects.

Participants:

The goal of the study was to have at least 100 participants, however, only 19 people responded. Those that participated in the study are older than eighteen years old and younger than seventy years old, graduated from a Master’s or Doctoral program of Occupational Therapy or graduated from an Associate’s program for Occupational Therapy Assistants, and used one of Pass the OT’s preparatory courses in the last three years. Subjects previously signed a release from Pass the OT, allowing contact through email for research purposes.

Procedure:

The student researchers contacted the creators of Pass the OT for permission to conduct a study on their preparatory course. To maintain organization throughout the study, the student researchers decided on a principal investigator, Kaitlyn Guillory, OTS, and an email coordinator, Gabrielle Gooden, OTS. The student researchers composed a consent letter in order gain access to participant’s emails. The consent letter was then sent to the creators of Pass the OT, signed, and returned. The consent letter gave permission for the student researchers to contact the participants through email. Users of Pass the OT previously consented for their emails to be shared for research purposes.  The student researchers created a survey about demographics and satisfaction of Pass the OT’s preparatory course. To assess the content validity of the survey, student researchers sent a copy to be peer reviewed. After review, changes were made to include detailed questions about the specific features each package offers. The human subjects protocol and informed consent were then written and reviewed. A proposal was developed and sent to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. Approval was granted on November 25, 2018 and the approval number is 2017202. After being approved by the IRB, the literature review was developed and a research instrument was developed via Google Forms which consisted of twenty-nine questions.

The student researchers received a list of email addresses from the creators of Pass the OT. Using the email list, researchers sent an invitation to participate in the survey via Google Forms. Prior to completion of the survey, the individuals were provided a copy of the informed consent. Once the individual agreed to participate in the study, the next page started the survey questions. Appendix A contains the copy of the survey questionnaire.  In order to maintain confidentiality, the student researchers created a private email account. The participants were then blind carbon copied in the invitation sent to participate in the study. The initial emails were sent out on December 15th and 18th. Follow up emails were sent on January 10th, 12th, 13th. A second set of follow up emails were sent on January 20th, 21st, 22nd. The last set of follow up emails were sent on January 27th, 28th, 29th. The survey closed on January 31, 2019.

Results:

The questionnaire was divided into quantitative and qualitative results. The quantitative data was analyzed by percentages. The qualitative data is based off of open- ended questions that were analyzed using intercoder agreement and themes.  The three questions on the survey inquired about sex, ethnicity, and age. 31.6% of the participants reported to be male and 68.4% of the participants reported to be female as shown in Table 1.


For ethnicity, 10.5% of participants reported to be black/African American, 15.8% of participants reported to be Asian/Pacific Islander, 68.4% of participants reported to be white/Caucasian, and 5.3% of participants reported their ethnicity to be other on the survey. For age, 26.3% of participants reported to be between the ages of 18- 24 years old, 52.6% of participants reported to be between the ages of 25-34 years old, 15.8% of participants reported to be between the ages of 35-44, and 5.3% of participants reported to be between the ages of 45-54 years old.  Participants also reported on how many times they have taken the NBCOT exam, if Pass the OT’s preparatory course was their first study tool, how many other preparatory courses did they utilized, which package from Pass the OT did they purchase, how satisfied they were with different aspects of Pass the OT, and if they passed after

Number of particpants using Pass the OT’s preparatory course. Participants reported 42.1% of them only took the NBCOT exam once, 26.3% of them took the exam twice, 26.3% of them took the exam three times, and one person reported taking the exam four or more times as shown in

Table 2.  How many times have you taken the NBCOT® exam?

Number of times participants have taken the NBCOT® exam and how many participants for each category.73.7% of participants reported Pass the OT’s preparatory course was not thei first study tool. 36.8% of participants reported using 1 other preparatory course other than Pass the OT’s and 36.8% of participants reported using 2 other preparatory courses other than Pass the OT’s. Participants reported to have purchased the OT/OTA web course package, Crash Course, Bronze Package, Silver Package, Platinum Package, and four tutoring sessions. The most purchased package was the Silver Package at 31.6% and the second most purchased packages were the OT/OTA web course and the Bronze Package at 21.1% each.

Participants reported on how satisfied they were with the different aspects of the packages that Pass the OT offers. When asked on how satisfied participants were with Pass the OT’s preparatory course, 42.1% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 47.4% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 10.5% of participants reported to be very dissatisfied as shown Table 3.  When asked on how satisfied participants were with the rationales provided for the practice questions, 26.3% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 68.9% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 5.3% of participants reported to be dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the charts provided, 36.8% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 52.6% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 5.3% of participants reported to be very dissatisfied as shown in Table 4.

Table 4 Participants responses of how satisfied they were with the charts Pass the OT provided?

When asked on how satisfied participants were with the videos provided, 31.6% of participants reported to be very satisfied,When asked on how satisfied participants were with the streamable audio provided, 31.6% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 42.1% of participants reported to be satisfied, 5.3% of participants 47.4% of participants reported to be satisfied, 5.3% of participants reported to be dissatisfied, and 5.3% of participants reported to be very dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the assessment tests provided, 21.1% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 57.9% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 15.8% of participants reported to be dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the strengths and weaknesses analysis provided, 27.8% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 55.6% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 5.6% of participants reported to be dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the mini quizzes, provided, 36.8% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 52.6% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 10.5% of participants reported to be dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the clinical simulations provided, 26.3% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 52.6% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 15.8% of participants reported to be dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the comprehensive final exam provided, 31.6% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 52.6% of participants reported to be satisfied, 10.5% of participants reported to be dissatisfied, and 5.3% of participants reported to be very dissatisfied. When asked on how satisfied participants were with the score tracking provided, 21.1% of participants reported to be very satisfied, 68.4% of participants reported to be satisfied, and 5.3% of participants reported to be dissatisfied.

The last quantitative question asked on the survey was if the participants passed after using Pass the OT’s preparatory course and 84.2% of people reported they did Pass after utilizing Pass the OT’s preparatory course as shown in Table 5.

Did you pass the NBCOT® exam after using one of Pass the OT’s prep courses?

Differences between if participants failed or passed after using Pass the OT’s preparatory course:

When the student researchers compared gender and passage rates, the outcome of the results were 66% of students who failed after using Pass the OT’s preparatory course were males and 33% of the students who failed were females. The average score of the first-time test takers of the participants in the study were 489 points and the average score difference of the repeated test takers of the participants was an increase of 34 points. Qualitative.  The open-ended questions were “why did you choose Pass the OT as a study tool,” “what was your favorite feature about Pass the OT’s prep course,” what was your least favorite feature about Pass the OT’s prep course,” “if you are not using another form of Pass the OT, what else are you doing,” and “additional comments about Pass the OT’s prep course”.

Number of participants:
The most common theme to emerge from “why did you choose Pass the OT as a study tool,” was Pass the OT was recommended to the participants from peers or teachers. The most common themes to emerge from “what was your favorite feature about Pass the OT’s prep course” were audio, tutors, organized, and charts. The most common theme to emerge from “what was your least favorite feature about Pass the OT’s prep course” was the repetition of the questions. The most common themes to emerge from “if you are not using another form of Pass the OT, what else are you doing” were TherapyEd, class notes and AOTA Exam prep. The additional comments section of our survey yielded two different responses from our participants. The responses were themed to be needing to change the questions Pass the OT provides and Pass the OT had good and helpful tutors.

Conclusion:

The student researchers concluded 84% of participants who utilized Pass the OT’s preparatory course passed the NBCOT® exam, therefore, are able to go to work, become a licensed practitioner in their state, and have an income that can be used to pay off student loans. These positive outcomes of passing will, in turn, decrease psychological effects, such as stress, per Harry and Bethelmy’s (2007) study done on the effects of failing an exam.

When the student researcher’s dug into demographics, they compared gender and passage rates. The outcome resulted in 66% of students who failed after using Pass the OT’s preparatory course were males and Novalis, Cyranowski, and Dolhi (2017) stated previously that gender may be a contributing factor to passing the NBCOT® exam.  Alexander, Perryman, and Rivers stated critical thinking skills, test timing, and use of visual or auditory repetition are all components of good task taking skills. Pass the OT uses these components in their preparatory course. Participants who utilized these components were 94% satisfied with the charts, 82% were satisfied with the audio, 88% were satisfied with the videos, 89% were satisfied with the quizzes, and 84% were satisfied with the final exam.

Summary of findings:
Pass the OT claimed first-time students who utilized their preparatory course scored an average of 470 and when compared to the student researcher’s results, this was true. The student researchers concluded the average of the first-time test takers of the participants scored 489, which is larger than the average Pass the OT reported.

Pass the OT reported repeated test takers who utilize their preparatory course have an increase in the score by 34 points. The student researchers concluded the average of the participants who were repeated test takers did in fact score exactly 34 points higher after utilizing Pass the OT’s preparatory course. The student researchers could not make any assumptions because of the small sample size collected but the results of the study fall in line with what Pass the OT reports.

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