Mary Roduta Roberts, PhD, BScOT
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Occupational Therapy
Associate Dean Grad Studies, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Rehabilitation Medicine
- By appointment
Area of Study / Keywords
Education Assessment Applied Measurement Evaluation
- PhD (Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition), Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, 2012
- BScOT (Occupational Therapy), University of Alberta, 2000
- Home Care/Home Living Program, Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services
- Geriatric Psychiatry Admissions Unit, Alberta Hospital Ponoka, Alberta Mental Health Board
- Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT)
- Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
- World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
- American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division D: Measurement and Research Methodology
- American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division I: Education in the Professions
- National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME)
Dr. Roduta Roberts is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) in Alberta. She has clinical experience in geriatric psychiatry, and community-based case management and clinical experience working with clients with disabilities, chronic health conditions, and complex needs. Dr. Roduta Roberts holds a PhD in Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition and maintains an active research program focusing on methods for educational assessment and evaluation within health professions education. Professionally, she has provided consulting services on quantitative research methods and design, applied measurement, statistical analysis, and the design and reporting of certification test scores. Dr. Roduta Roberts joined the Department of Occupational Therapy as an instructor in August 2011 and began her faculty appointment in July 2013. In July 2022, Dr. Roduta Roberts was appointed Associate Dean - Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Dr. Roduta Roberts draws from diverse academic backgrounds to improve research and practice in health professions education and educational measurement. Her research aims to contribute to better practices in assessment, support and promote evidence-informed decision making, and demonstrate the potential of assessment for enabling achievement of educational and social outcomes. As an education researcher, Dr. Roduta Roberts works to support the development of capable and competent health professionals who continue to be active learners and contribute positively to the lives of their clients and communities. Her research is collaborative in nature, working with instructors, curriculum groups, and other educational and health researchers both locally and internationally. Dr. Roduta Roberts advises students on projects involving quantitative methods, research design, and applied measurement. Her education research has been funded by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta's Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES; US Department of Education).
Areas of research interest include educational assessment, performance assessment, communication of assessment results/score reporting, assessment validation, uses of technology to facilitate assessment, clinical reasoning and judgment, applied measurement, and integrating multiple methods in research design.
Dr. Roduta Roberts has taught and coordinated multiple courses within the occupational therapy curriculum since Fall 2011 including Human Systems and seminars within the Integration and Application curriculum theme. Her current teaching area is assessment and evaluation of occupational performance.
Occupational therapy theoretical foundations, clinical reasoning, and practical approaches for the identification of occupational performance deficits. In addition students will learn basic practical client interaction skills.
Application of occupational therapy principles and skills, supported by evidence based practice, in physical and mental health, functioning, participation and activities. Corequisites: All Year 1 Fall Term Courses.
Research - Assessment and Evaluation of Competencies for Collaborative Practice within the Interprofessional Learning Pathway
2017-07-01 to 2021-12-31
Methods for assessing and evaluating IPE outcomes at both student and program levels are increasing in priority. However, there is debate on how best to move forward with this task. In collaboration with HSERC and the IP Curriculum Group, Dr. Roduta Roberts' project developed innovative assessment methods to facilitate student learning of IP competencies for collaborative practice. Assessment methods were based on the principles of assessment for learning and are in alignment with the experiential and constructivist learning theories that informed the design of the IP curriculum.
Funding: Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF)
Research - Communication of assessment results
Dr. Roduta Roberts explores educational test score reporting as a social activity and not just the end product of the test development process. For example, she used conversation analysis/discourse analysis to understand the implicit communication afforded by the language choices present in large-scale testing score reports to students and their families.
Currently, with Dr. Gotch at Washington State University, Dr. Roduta Roberts is developing and exploring the use of narrative reports (vignettes) as an adjunct to traditional score reports from the Washington Assessment of Risks and Needs of Students (WARNS). Score reports have the potential to impact educational and social outcomes of students and programs beyond a proximal outcome of improving student test scores and grades.
Funding: US Department of Education - Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
Research - Performance assessment in health sciences education
Dr. Roduta Roberts studies the measurement properties of practical (i.e., performance-based) exams assessing professional competencies. Her studies have centered on collecting and integrating sources of technical and non-technical validity evidence to support appropriate interpretations and uses of performance assessment in health professions education. For example, she conducted a study using quantitative measures and think-aloud interviews to investigate assessor cognition as a source of score variability from an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Studies such as this address the paucity of research on the reliability and validity of performance assessment conducted within realistic operational contexts using nested data collection designs and small sample sizes.
Funding: Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine New Investigators' Grant
Research - Virtual reality simulations to enhance student performance and well-being
Immersive and accessible virtual reality (VR) technology is fast becoming mainstream. The use of VR is emerging within a variety of disciplines in higher education ranging from the arts and humanities, to health sciences, to science and engineering. Although numerous studies describe and evaluate specific uses of VR within an educational program, these uses are often standalone events not fully integrated into the curriculum. Dr. Roduta Roberts' project explores the development, integration, and impact of Artificial Intelligence-enhanced VR within a professional education program involving performance-based assessments. Research on the formative use of VR to assist in learning and performance of complex competencies, such as communication, is needed given the potential of VR to improve outcomes for skill development and engagement.
Funding: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)