- Cody McDonald, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
- Sarah Westcott McCoy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
- Henry Larbi, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Brother Tracisius Prosthetics and Orthotics Training College
- Deborah Kartin, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
Research question: How is information obtained and shared among Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) faculty in the U.S. and Ghana?
Context: P&O faculty from two P&O educational programs, University of Washington Master’s in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO), Seattle, Washington, USA and Brother Tarcisius P&O Training College (BTPOTC) in Nsawam, Ghana, participated.
Methods: We conducted an online REDCap survey of P&O faculty. The survey included a social network analysis (SNA), demographics and P&O information resources and frequency of use. The SNA survey asked faculty to report their frequency of giving and receiving information related to teaching P&O students.
Assessment: We described and compared by institution information resources and frequency of use. Information exchange networks were developed for faculty at each P&O educational program using Gephi software. Descriptive statistics were calculated at the node and network level for each institution.
Results: Twenty-one faculty members (84% response) completed the survey. Faculty at both programs reported textbooks as their most commonly-used resource. Ghanaian faculty rarely used peer-reviewed journals but reported a desire to.
Faculty networks were similar in size but differed in all other aspects. The Ghanaian network had more internal connections with few outside sources. The U.S. network had fewer internal connections, relied heavily upon four key players (i.e., faculty with the most connections) but had numerous outside contacts. Ghana and U.S. faculty networks reflect the structure, longevity and resources of the programs.
Application: Social network analysis is a useful methodology to explore how information related to teaching is shared among faculty. Information exchange networks can guide information dissemination and be leveraged to identify network deficiencies and areas for improvement within instructional programs. Network mapping can help identify key players for information dissemination, disconnected faculty and opportunities for network improvement.
View a PDF of this poster