American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Types of Independent Study Activities

Activities That Are Suitable for Independent Study

Examples of Independent Study activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Traditional Independent Study (IS). Develop an IS plan encompassing a variety of activities, all contributing to achieving the desired learning outcomes under the direction of an ASHA Approved Independent Study Provider (e.g. reading journal articles, observing a master clinician, reviewing case files, an internship/hands-on experience). These experiences might culminate with the learner writing a critical review of the experience, including how participant will incorporate newly acquired skills and knowledge into practice.

Continuing education (CE) activities offered by an organization that is not an ASHA Approved CE Provider. Attend activity offered by an organization that is not an ASHA Approved CE Provider and write a critical review of the experience including ways in which newly acquired skills and knowledge will be incorporated into practice.

Course design and instruction. Develop and present information of clinical significance to a group of peers, allied professionals, and/or laypersons (speech, course, presentation).

Research and publication. Design, implement, and report a study relevant to human communication and disorders.

Journal and/or study groups. Meet with one or more persons at specified times to discuss pre-assigned relevant materials.

Audiotape and/or videotape instruction. Review tapes and write a critical review including ways the newly acquired skills/knowledge will be incorporated into practice. Some ASHA Approved CE Providers offer pre-packaged audio and video offerings (self-studies) for ASHA CEUs. However, if a pre-packaged self-study pertinent to the professions is not offered for ASHA CEUs, the learner can use those materials and along with an ASHA Approved IS Provider develop an IS plan around the use and successful completion of those materials.

Clinical case studies/record review. Select individuals from clinical service files to analyze and produce a final report to be reviewed by the ASHA Approved CE Provider and/or a group of peers that offers a critique of the assessment, recommendations, intervention plan, counseling, and follow-up procedures. The report could include documentation and/or justification from the literature.

Literature review. Review literature on a specified topic and submit a written summary. Consider including critical comments and a plan for incorporating the acquired information into practice.

Professional visitation. Identify experts or master clinicians, and arrange to visit and observe them in their clinical setting. Develop a written report summarizing the experience and describe how the information will impact the delivery of clinical services in the work setting.

Internship. Commit to a period of time working with colleagues who have special skills that would benefit the learner in his/her employment setting.

Other. Devise and implement an Independent Study plan that does not fit any of the above categories under the direction of an ASHA Approved IS Provider.

Activities Unsuitable for Independent Study

Independent Study may not be used in the following situations:

Provider-initiated activities. Independent Study cannot be used to offer participants CEUs for a group activity offered by an ASHA Approved CE Provider. If a Provider fails to file an activity within the 7-day pre-activity filing deadline, Independent Study cannot be used as a substitute to offer ASHA CEUs to participants in the activity.

Cooperative CE offerings. ASHA Approved CE Providers should not offer Independent Study services for activities that should have been conducted as cooperative CE offerings or as Provider-initiated activities. Independent Study should not be used to offer CEUs to groups of participants in activities. Organizations that are not ASHA Approved CE Providers but want to offer ASHA CEUs to participants in their continuing education activities should (a) seek a Provider with whom to conduct a cooperative CE offering or (b) apply to be an ASHA Approved CE Provider.

Activities initiated by ASHA CE administrator through ASHA Approved CE Provider. The ASHA CE administrator of the ASHA Approved CE Provider has oversight and is responsible for planning, monitoring, and approving Independent Studies, it would represent a conflict of interest for the ASHA CE administrator to both offer and earn ASHA CEUs for his/her Independent Study. ASHA CE administrators may participate in Independent Study, but they must do so through another ASHA Approved CE Provider and ASHA CE administrator.

By groups. It is inappropriate to use Independent Study to offer ASHA CEUs for a group of learners. Independent Study is intended for an individual's specific learning needs. Even if several participants engage in similar Independent Study endeavors, each participant must have a separate original plan with learning outcomes specific to what that participant will be able to demonstrate as a result of the experience. The CEB will reject plans that appear to be created for groups of learners or that are duplicates. Group activities should be filed as a cooperative CE offering or as a Provider-initiated activity.

For other activities not appropriate for ASHA CEUs. The Independent Study activity must relate to the science or practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology. For additional information, see Activities for Which ASHA CEUs are Not Intended.

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