Enhance Occupational Therapy Students’ Exam Readiness—Integrate Board Prep into Curriculum Early
Preparing for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR®) exam can be an overwhelming experience for many students, given the broad scope of content covered and difficulty determining which topics to prioritize. Many schools offer end-of-program practice exams and intensive review sessions that may benefit some but at-risk students who are struggling with the curriculum are unlikely to see the same results. Attempting to squeeze in a vast amount of learning within a short period could even lead to stress and possible burnout.
A more effective and sustainable way to ensure exam-readiness is to integrate board prep into the curriculum from day one and throughout the occupational therapy (OT) program entirety. This involves embedding exam-style questions and content into class materials and lectures or assigning them to students as coursework or assessments, allowing faculty to track and monitor progress and performance longitudinally.
The paired TrueLearn-Picmonic Learning Loop
Leading digital learning platforms TrueLearn and Picmonic offer all that and are conveniently paired to deliver impactful results through a powerful learning loop. It combines TrueLearn’s customized quizzes, allowing for formative and summative assessment using board-style practice questions, with Picmonic’s bite-sized interactive video lessons—over 5,000 questions and more than 470 Picmonics specifically organized for OT, including customizable playlists highlighting need-to-know facts for the OTR® exam—to enable students to learn and retain information more effectively, so they are better prepared to take on the exam.
By integrating TrueLearn and Picmonic into the OT curriculum from day one to augment didactics, students are armed to tackle the breadth of material required for the exam. At the same time, program directors and faculty will gain access to real-time predictive and comparative data that surfaces insights on at-risk students, remediation needs, faculty development, and curriculum improvement.
How does the TrueLearn-Picmonic learning loop deliver on these?
Comprehensive curriculum and board review
By leveraging the TrueLearn-Picmonic learning loop, students embark on comprehensive reviews of all the material that is likely to appear on the OTR®. Both platforms cover every aspect of the OT curriculum, from disability and health to OT process and systems of practice. Picmonic uses the spaced repetition technique to help students reinforce learning over time by quizzing them at progressively longer intervals to cement information retention and help students navigate the effects of the “forgetting curve” so they can build and maintain mastery of need-to-know topics. Utilizing TrueLearn’s quizzes and mock assessment gives students a taste of the actual exam ahead of time, alleviating test day anxiety and improving their chances of a first-time pass on the exam.
Adaptive and customized learning
The TrueLearn-Picmonic learning loop uses adaptive learning technology to tailor study materials to the individual needs of each student. TrueLearn’s SmartBank of practice questions allow students to practice low-stakes recall in preparation for high-stakes exams such as the OTR®. Results from the quizzes help faculty identify areas where a student needs more focus so they can tailor lessons and assessment to cover those topics and help elevate overall learning toward concept mastery. For students, it means better allocation of their study time and effort, enabling them to better manage the demanding course load while increasing information retention and knowledge recall.
Active and engaged learners
Both platforms encourage active learning and utilize multimedia elements such as videos, animation, graphics, and audio to create engaging and interactive classroom experiences and cater to multiple learning styles and preferences. This makes the learning process more accessible and enjoyable, particularly for today’s generation of students. For example, Picmonic uses vivid, cartoon-like images to explain complex information, making them easier to digest and process. This technique engages multiple areas of the brain and creates strong associations between images and concepts. When students regularly interact meaningfully with the lessons and materials, they easily build on their understanding of the subject matter and retain the knowledge over a longer period.
The TrueLearn-Picmonic learning loop further enforces the efficacy of this approach: Students use TrueLearn to assess their understanding of concepts learned on Picmonic but if they get an answer wrong, they revisit Picmonic to renew the learning. They repeat this process throughout the curriculum until they have a well-rounded understanding of the material and achieve the level of concept mastery required to perform optimally on the OTR® and beyond.
The paired TrueLearn-Picmonic solution drives better learning and exam outcomes among OT students with a suite of data-led tools, features, and functions that, when integrated into the curriculum, supports efficient and effective teaching, learning, and exam prep.
OTR® is a trademark of National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®).
This content is not endorsed or approved by NBCOT®.