Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Betty L. Beach

Committee Members

Kenneth E. Kirby, Mary J. Hitchcock, Roy E. Beauchene


During the initial phase of clinical training, dietetic students require close supervision. Low faculty/student ratios have been used to achieve adequate supervision. Academic administrators have expressed concern about increased faculty demands associated with coordinated programs as such programs do not conform to the traditional formula used to fund academic units. The purpose of this research was to develop a methodology for estimating time demands of clinical instructors using different instructional strategies and to study the effects of the strategy mixes on total clinical instructor time in relation to class size and competency level students could achieve. Clinical instructor elemental times were estimated as part of a framework to establish, validate, and test a quantitative data base for a coordinated undergraduate program in dietetics. Elemental times were classified as fixed or variable. Fixed elements were those teaching activities in which class size had no effect on instructor time. Time demand for variable elements were based on per student or ratio demand. Per student variables tended to have a stronger effect on total clinical instructor time required for a clinical unit when the size of the class increased than did ratio variables. Elemental times were applied to sixty-four instructional strategy mixes, identified from questionnaires completed by panels of clinical instructors, students, and clinical facility personnel. Competency contribution for each mix was rated on a five point scale by clinical instructors. Competency rating and demand on instructor time were input for two schemes, Clinical Instructor Decision Model (CIDMO) and the Heuristic Routine for Selecting Instructional Strategy Mixes (HRSISM), designed to optimize use of instructor time while maximizing competency rating. CIDMO and HRSISM solutions obtained for four class sizes, ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five students, had higher competency ratings than mixes currently used. Elemental times and competency contribution ratings were instrumental in selecting instructional strategy mixes. Further research designed to study the use and effectiveness of clinical instructor time was suggested. Research should be undertaken to study the effectiveness of various combinations of instructional strategies.

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