Increasing Knowledge And Skills of Students in a Fluency Disorder

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nicole Steyl (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Joseph Klein

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that a fluency disorders class utilizing teletherapy and experiential learning had on graduate student knowledge and skills in fluency disorders. The method involved creation and administration of a survey consisting of demographic information and thirty-four, five-point, Likert scale questions regarding comfort level when working with clients who stutter. The survey was administered on the first and last day of the semester. The final survey also included questions regarding the overall effectiveness of the class and a seven-component ranking section for students’ opinions on the most important aspects of class. As two students were absent on the first day, the initial survey was completed by twenty students and the final survey was completed by twenty-two students. The twenty-two students were split into three groups of seven or eight and focus groups were conducted on the last day of class. Results of the survey indicated that students who took part in the fluency disorders class demonstrated significant changes in 29 of the 34 items, indicating a change in their level of comfort when working with people with fluency disorders. Specific areas of significance included comfort in identifying fluent and disfluent speech, differentially diagnosing children with a fluency disorder, assessing clients, answering questions related to fluency disorders, creating a treatment plan for a client with a fluency disorder, and counseling a client and family members. The results from the focus groups also showed a development of knowledge in many areas for the students. Many themes appeared throughout the focus groups and were compiled into a list and included: Working with attitudes and feelings of clients, counseling, seeing progress and forming a relationship with the client, assignments and the classroom, teletherapy, multiculturalism, program structure and curriculum, client factors, experiential learning, instructor impact, and students’ professional development and identity. Overall, students seemed to grow in their comfort and knowledge of working with people who stutter and as therapists in general. More research regarding instruction and preparation for students on working with people with fluency and other communication disorders is needed.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Steyl, N. (2015) Increasing Knowledge and Skills of Students in a Fluency Disorder. Unpublished honors thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015

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