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|Participants: The population from which the sample will be drawn consists of approximately 100 occupational therapists in Shreveport- Bossier City, Louisiana. Since 90% of occupational therapists are female (AOTA, 2009), the sample will be limited to females in order to improve sample representation of the target population. The sample will be limited to females who self-identify as white since the intervention is aimed at improving racial attitudes towards African Americans. Two groups of nine occupational therapists will be recruited through advertisements posted at local clinics and through personal contacts. Sample size has been determined by the space available in the LSUHSC SAHP computer lab.|
Sample selection criteria
Table 8 Description of the Instructional Module
The Racial Argument Scale (RAS) contains 13 paragraphs describing evidence to support a position on a current social issue related to African Americans (Saucier & Miller, 2003). Six of the paragraphs argue for pro-Black conclusions and seven of the paragraphs support negative conclusions. A concise statement of the conclusion follows each paragraph. Subjects are asked to rate on a Likert scale how well they think the paragraph of evidence supports the corresponding conclusion. Subjects are not asked how much they may agree with the arguments, but how well the argument supports the conclusion. Ratings for each item range from 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much). The final score on the RAS is considered interval data since it is a composite of all the item ratings. RAS scores range from 13 to 65, with higher scores indicating more racist views. Factor analysis yielded a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.74. Comparison of initial test scores and test scores two weeks later yielded a correlation of 0.81, (p<.001) indicating good test-retest reliability. The RAS did not correlate significantly (r=-.03, p>.05) with a test of social desirability, suggesting that the RAS may uncover hidden bias. Convergent validity for the RAS is evidenced by its correlation with three other tests of racism, coefficients ranging between 0.42 and 0.57.
The Racial Attitude Implicit Association Test (RAIAT) is a timed test that takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete (Implicit Association Test, Inc.; 2002-2008). Psychometric properties of the test describe the validity and reliability of the association between categories regardless of the type of association being studied. Coefficients describe the reliability and validity of the method of testing, rather than the test itself. Internal consistency of testing implicit associations is reported with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.78. (Lane, Banaji, Nosek, & Greenwald, 2007). Test-retest reliability ranges from 0.32 (after two weeks) to 0.65 (within 24 hours). Evidence for the convergent validity of the RAIAT lies in its strong correlation with measures of ethnocentrism. The RAIAT is able to discriminate between groups with explicit preferences. The correlation between implicit and explicit preferences varies according to the strength of the implicit preferences; the stronger the preference the higher the correlation. The RAIAT can predict a variety of behaviors such as physiological response, social action, and social judgments.
Therapists will complete a survey following the intervention consisting of open-ended reflection questions. In addition, four questions will be embedded in the environment. Answers to these questions will be recorded on a separate form placed in the participants’ workshop notebook (see Appendix G).
Qualitative data in the form of an exit survey will be collected on each participant’s subjective experience of the instructional module. The data will be examined for themes and coded accordingly by the primary investigator and triangulated with analysis from two other experts. The results of this process will be used to answer the three research questions: 1) Can a culturally immersive virtual world experience promote cultural competency changes in attitudes, behaviors, and interactive reasoning in Louisiana occupational therapists? 2) What instructional strategies are effective in training Louisiana occupational therapists in cultural competence in a virtual world environment? 3) What type of scaffolding is necessary in an online virtual environment designed to teach Louisiana occupational therapists cultural competency? 4) What is the phenomenological experience of occupational therapists participating in cultural competency training in Second Life?
The first hypothesis, “Louisiana occupational therapists participating in cultural competency training in Second Life will have statistically significant lower post test compared to pre-test scores on the Racial Argument Scale” will be tested by analyzing the differences between pre and post test scores of the RAS with a dependent t test since the RAS returns a composite score that is considered to be interval data. The second hypothesis, “Louisiana occupational therapists participating in cultural competency training in Second Life will have statistically significant improvement in post test compared to pre-test scores on the Racial Attitude Implicit Association Test” will be tested by analyzing the difference in pre- and post test scores on the RAIAT with a chi square. A chi square test is appropriate since the RAIAT yields ordinal data.
The interventions will take place in the Louisiana State University Health Science Center School of Allied Health Professions computer lab. The lab contains twelve Dell computers, with Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processors, loaded with the Second Life client. Bandwidth allocation is typically under 300 kbps, and often under 100 kbps. All computers have 256MB ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro graphics card or better. USB headsets with microphones and earphones will be used for audio and voice.
The ADDIE model as applied by Wang and Hsu (2008) will be used as an overall framework for this study. The first three stages of the model will direct the development phase of the study in which the virtual environment will be constructed, and the last two stages will guide the experimental phase of the study. The prototype instructional module developed in Second Life will undergo an iterative design process, which will include a survey of occupational therapists, a usability test with occupational therapy students, an expert review of the instructional plan, and a heuristic evaluation. The instructional intervention will take place using two samples of occupational therapists in the LSUHSC computer lab. Therapists will be led through three cultural competency learning modules in Second Life. Qualitative data collected will include answers to reflection questions embedded in the environment and responses to an exit survey. Quantitative measures will include the RAS and the RAIAT given as a pre-tests and post-tests.
Louisiana Occupational Therapist Survey
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