Research Output

Revisiting 1:1 and 2:1 clinical placement models: Student and clinical educator perspectives

  Aim: A recent systematic review suggests that more comparative research is required on the effectiveness of clinical placement models. This study explored perspectives of clinical educators and students who had participated in both the 1:1 (one student supervised by one clinical educator) and 2:1 (two students supervised by one clinical educator) models of clinical education across occupational therapy and physiotherapy programmes in Ireland.
Methods: Qualitative data using a descriptive approach were gathered through individual semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of 12 students and eight clinical educators. Transcripts were analysed using thematic content analysis.
Results: Three main themes emerged: learning opportunities and experiences; organisation and planning; relationships. Although clinical educators felt that the 2:1 model offered greater learning experiences than the 1:1 model, it presented organisational challenges. Students preferred the 2:1 model earlier in their clinical experience due to the benefits of peer learning, whereas the 1:1 model was favoured in the latter stages to demonstrate individual
autonomy. Relationships forged during placement were significant, from the student’s perspectives, but differed between models. Clinical educator and student perspectives indicated that learning from other members of the multidisciplinary team had a positive effect on learning within both models.
Conclusion: Each clinical placement model requires specific organisational and planning skills to be effective. An awareness of individual student learning is essential to avoid dissatisfaction with the learning and assessment process on a 2:1 model. Recently established clinical education teams in Ireland may have a role to play in developing effective clinical learning.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 August 2012

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  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.7 Medical education, research & nursing

  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


O'Connor, A., Cahill, M., & McKay, E. A. (2012). Revisiting 1:1 and 2:1 clinical placement models: Student and clinical educator perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 59(4), 276-283.



Clinical Education, Professional Education, Qualitative Research, Supervision,

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