OT in an Uncertain World


This project involved the development, delivery and evaluation of an international, final year, blended learning module, delivered amongst three Occupational Therapy pre-registration programmes: Coventry University (CU), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and PXL Limburg University, Belgium (PXL). In particular the project offered undergraduates the opportunity to explore a globalised picture of mental health occupational therapy practice through the use of creative pedagogy. This new approach was designed to encourage students to think creatively, engage in individual and group problem solving, develop innovative ways to deliver culturally-sensitive services, discuss strategies, take calculated risks and consider ways and means of extending the reach of the profession (Pattison, 2006; 2008). Additionally, the project aimed to equip students with personal entrepreneurial capacities to deal with greater levels of uncertainty and complexity in their professional practice (Ravasi & Turati, 2005; Gibb, 2007). The opportunity for international exposure also allowed for the development of a richer understanding of occupational therapy in diverse contexts.

Aims of the project

  1. Develop professional artistry through enhancement of students’ self and diversity awareness for globalised OT practice.
  2. Evaluate the project during educational stage to examine students’ self and diversity awareness, intercultural competency, entrepreneurial perspectives and professional learning.
  3. Develop undergraduates’ ability to problem solve and consider ways to extend the durability and professional reach of OT.
  4. Actively develop digital pedagogy and curricula for the design and delivery of teaching and learning overseas, for professional development, through joint venture, to improve research capacity and academic collaboration (WHO, 2013).
  5. Follow students into their first graduate post to assess how their entrepreneurial capacities are evidenced and applied.


Critical discussion, digital storytelling, reflection, peer-review and feedback.


Synchronous & asynchronous


CU, PXL and UCT students are assigned to mixed groups of students.

Facilitated by tutors, student groups access podcasts of real graduate work scenarios accessed for critical discussion in online forums.

Students at Coventry further attend live Skype lectures from PXL Limburg and all students actively participate in international discussion groups.

The Open Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enabled shared lectures and both synchronous and asynchronous discussion. In addition, the platform housed learning materials such as case scenarios, podcasts, module resources and formative assessment guidance.

Intercultural Reflection

A validated intercultural development inventory designed to assess competences that are critical to interacting and working effectively with people from different cultures is used before and after the module and intercultural interactions.


Thelma Cardwell Research Foundation Funding Award

This prestigious award for the project, its development and dissemination, was presented at the 16th International World Federation of Occupational Therapists Conference in Japan, June 2014.

Coventry University Excellence Awards

The project was one of the two finalist in the category Online International Learning in the 2015 awards.


This project has been supported by the learning technologies team at Coventry University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning Enhancement (CELE).