Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Paul Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Howell

Third Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt


The purpose of this study was to explore the application of learning contracts in the process of preparing to take the AT BOC exam. The goal of this study was to investigate best practices to assist students in being successful when taking the BOC certification examination. Self-directed learning in medicine was an important skill in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. One self-directed learning tool, learning contracts, had been studied in other healthcare fields. However, little research had been conducted utilizing learning contracts in athletic training. In addition, providing students with a research based instrument that could be used to improve success on the BOC examination would positively impact the profession of athletic training. Therefore, a mixed methods research study was implemented to study the usefulness of learning contracts in the preparation for the BOC examination. The data produced in the study showed that athletic training students were self-directed learners and that learning contracts were a useful tool when preparing for the BOC examination. Along with the Self-Assessment Exams (SAEs) produced by BOC, Inc., learning contracts were shown to be useful in helping students diagnose learning needs as well as creating a plan to study. Based on the outcomes of this study the researcher recommends that athletic training students, and athletic training programs, implement the use of learning contracts when preparing for the BOC examination. The researcher also recommends that students strongly consider using SAEs to diagnose learning needs or gaps.


Copyright 2017