Reciprocal Learning Among Preceptors and Athletic Training Students During Clinical Education, Part II: Facilitators and Barriers

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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  • 1 University of Connecticut
  • 2 Springfield College
  • 3 Lynchburg College
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Reciprocal learning appears to be occurring in athletic training clinical education. Students and preceptors can learn from one another, particularly if both parties are open to learning from each other.


Examine facilitators and barriers to reciprocal learning in the athletic training clinical education setting.


Exploratory qualitative study.


Athletic training programs.

Patients or Other Participants:

Our recruitment, which was based upon data redundancy, included 10 preceptors and 10 athletic training students. The preceptors had an average of 5 ± 3.5 years of experience supervising students. The athletic training student sample consisted of 8 seniors and 2 juniors.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants responded to a series of questions by journaling their thoughts and opinions. Data were collected and stored on QuestionPro, a secure website. Data were analyzed by a general inductive approach. Credibility was established by (1) researcher triangulation, (2) peer review, and (3) member checks.


The relationship between the preceptor and the student along with reception to reciprocal learning emerged as facilitators, while a lack of confidence on the students’ behalf and time constraints can limit chances for reciprocal learning.


Reciprocal learning has been identified as being mutually beneficial to the student and preceptor. Our findings highlight that for this type of learning to be successful, there has to be a communal interest in learning and that the use of current clinical cases and students’ current coursework provide benchmarks for discussion and learning.