Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs

Research on Education Committee – March 2018 Update

Committee Name or Name: 
Research on Education Committee

The Research on Education Committee (ROE) has been involved in several exciting activities over the last few months. Consistent with our mandate to suggest priorities in education-related research in Canada, identify the gaps in educational research relevant to OT nationally and provide an advisory role in OT educational research nationally we have focused our efforts on the following 4 activities:

  1. We created a virtual community of practice (COP) of OT educational researchers that is intended to support and promote educational scholarship in occupational therapy. To date there are approximately 33 members in the COP representing faculty from 11 universities. The COP meets approximately 4 times per year through the online platform ADOBE Connect. Topics discussed to date include funding opportunities for educational research, ideas for joint projects and venues for disseminating published research. We are also using the Ryver online platform ( to post documents, resources and ideas for projects and to promote asynchronous communication among the members of the COP. Anyone interested in joining the COP can contact Dr Rosemary Lysaght ( or Ms. Fatima Amari, research assistant (
  2. A review of the literature on the nature and impact of online communities of practice. The overarching question guiding the review is “How have virtual communities of practice been used, created and mobilized to advance educational practices and research? Secondary questions include: What factors help establish and promote a virtual COP? Have these factors been evaluated? Do best practice guidelines exist for online COPs? We hope that this literature will help shape and refine our COP and ensure it is successful in meeting its objectives.
  3. We have had two abstracts accepted for the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) congress in South Africa: the first entitled ‘Profiling and Promoting Educational Research in Occupational Therapy: A Canadian Experience’ (authors: C. Schmitz, Lysaght, R., Lee, M. & A. Thomas) was accepted as a poster and focuses on the activities of the ROE to date, including a summary of the education session held at the CAOT annual conference in PEI in the spring of 2017.  The second is a pre-conference workshop entitled Emerging trends and future directions in occupational therapy educational research. (Presenters: A. Thomas, R. Lysaght, M. Lee, C. Schmitz, A. Carrier, A. Freeman, E.A Kinsella & M. Paterson). The goals of this workshop are to discuss current and future trends in OT educational research and lay the groundwork for a broader range of collaborations.

    We are also pleased that our paper entitled “Expanding the foundation of occupational therapy educational research – A Canadian initiative was accepted for publication in the WFOT bulletin (published online: 21 Feb 2018;

  4. The ROE is pursuing efforts to find funding opportunities for educational research in our profession and is working with our COP to explore the possibilities.