Using a card sort to structure and promote enquiry-based learning

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An occupational therapy card sort was developed as part of an enquiry-based learning initiative to enable students to evaluate their skill development. The online card sort comprises modified playing cards that students deal to assess their skill development. The card items reflect standards of proficiency for occupational therapists.

The card sort was evaluated to determine whether it was effective in measuring changes in skills over time and to see whether students found it useful to identify their skill levels and plan their learning needs. Data were collected from second-year occupational therapy students, both by using questionnaires and by collecting completed card sorts from 35 students at two intervals in their studies for comparison.

The card sort was found to be sensitive to changes in students' perceived skill levels over time and to detecting differences between categories of skills. The students found the card sort effective as a means to promote the active learning skills necessary for enquiry-based learning. The card sort was identified as a useful tool for planning professional development needs and for engaging in continuing professional development.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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