Fink’s Six Aspects of Learning

Learning How to Learn:

Becoming a better student, asking questions about a subject, and becoming self-directed learners. This domain is facilitated throughout the program beginning with an exercise having student identify their learning style and begin to find methods to improve learning. Experiences in each class provide students with an array of learning techniques which culminate in a broader knowledge of how to approach new tasks or skills to be learned. These experiences require the student to engage in clinical reasoning, contemplating, and assessing by asking questions about the subject and becoming self-directed learners. Classroom and laboratory experiences are designed to allow students to mature as learners. By fostering an environment that promotes student engagement, students are better equipped to continue to be an active learner throughout their careers.

Foundational Knowledge:

Associate, compare, contrast, describe, explain, define. Foundational knowledge is the cornerstone of the first year but is present throughout the entirety of the curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to describe, explain, and define the foundations of the Occupational Therapy profession, human gross and neuro anatomy, human biomechanics, and common diagnoses and therapeutic implications. Students will gain knowledge about human performance, engagement in activities, therapeutic tools, and techniques, language of the profession, documentation, standards of practice, and the use of clinical reasoning to function as an occupational therapist. Foundational knowledge is assessed in a variety of methods including written and laboratory examinations, written assignments, case studies, and presentations.


Analyze, assess, critique, create, demonstrate, measure, prescribe, and make decisions. Classroom and laboratory settings will provide faculty designed learning activities that allow students the opportunity to apply learned material. The learning activities will require clinical reasoning to create, assess, critique and make decisions based on materials previously learned. Putting it all together and having students demonstrate skills are a large part of the program. Application is measured in a variety of methods, including practical examinations, simulated client encounters, and fieldwork experiences.


Develop, recognize, value, share, express, explore Faculty develop and utilize a variety of learning mediums to foster student enthusiasm, encourage student commitment to their work, and the occupational therapy profession. We aim to stimulate student learning and participation through the use technology and other techniques of active learning. Student’s participation with their peers, as well as faculty, using materials provided online as well as activities used in the classroom. Faculty utilize Blackboard as a major method of instructional design.


Associate, blend, connect, link, synthesize, and unite. To associate learned materials in meaningful ways, students partake in group intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary activities. Involving students in group activities including presentations and discussions allow students to associate information learned within the classroom and laboratory settings to actual client scenarios. Team projects help to foster performance skills required for optimum effectiveness when working in an interdisciplinary team.

Human Dimension:

Acquire, advise, advocate, reflect, respond, express, interact, involve, and share. We strive to develop graduates who embrace the core values and ethics of occupational therapy practice. Students will embrace the value of personal self-fulfillment and begin to see that each of their clients can achieve outcomes of health and wellness despite limitations. Students understand how their role is dependent on context and they will become confident in their decision-making skills. Recognizing the human dimension aspect of the field is essential to be an occupational therapist and students will be afforded ample opportunity to interact with clients.

Philosophy of Education Consistent with the fundamental beliefs expressed within the Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education our curriculum “promotes professional and clinical reasoning; critical thinking; cultural understanding; and the integration of professional values, theories, evidence, ethics, and skills” and helps shape future practitioners' professional identities (AOTA, 2018).


American Occupational Therapy Association. (2017). Philosophical base of occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(Suppl. 2),     7112410045.

Fink, L.D. (2003). Creating Significant learning experiences: And integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. American       Occupational Therapy Association. (2018).

Philosophy of occupational therapy education. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(Suppl. 2), 7212410070.