Mary Roduta Roberts, PhD, BScOT, OT Reg(Alberta)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Occupational Therapy

Pronouns: she, her, hers


Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Occupational Therapy
(780) 492-4333
3-06 Corbett (E.A.) Hall
8205 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G4

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

Clinical Experience

  • Home Care (Long Term Care), Community Care Services - Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services
  • Geriatric Psychiatry Admissions Unit, Alberta Hospital Ponoka, Alberta Mental Health Board

Professional Affiliations

  • 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)

Background Information

Dr. Roduta Roberts is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) in Alberta. She has clinical experience in geriatric psychiatry, and community-based clinical and case management experience working with adults and older adults with disabilities, chronic health conditions, and complex needs. Dr. Roduta Roberts completed her PhD in Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition and maintains an active research program focusing on methods for assessment and evaluation within health professions and interprofessional education. Professionally, she has provided consultant services related to 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 at the University of Alberta in July 2013.


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 best practices in assessment, support and promote evidence-based 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 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 also collaborates with health research teams and advises students on projects involving quantitative methods, research design, and applied measurement. Her education research has been funded by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

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, health professions education including interprofessional education, applied measurement, and integrating multiple methods in research design.


Dr. Roduta Roberts has taught and coordinated multiple courses within the occupational therapy curriculum. Her current teaching areas are assessment and evaluation of occupational performance and integration of theory, evidence, and skills in occupational therapy practice.

Scholarly Activities

Research - Assessment and Evaluation of Competencies for Collaborative Practice within the Interprofessional Learning Pathway

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 is leading a 3-year project to develop a program of assessment to accompany the new IP curriculum. The program is based on the principles of assessment for learning, and is in alignment with experiential and constructivist learning theories that undergird the IP curriculum. This project also involves the development of innovative assessment methods to determine what the students are learning as it relates to IP competencies for collaborative practice.

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. In a recent study with colleagues from Washington State University and Indiana University Bloomington, she used conversation analysis/discourse analysis to understand the implicit communication afforded by the language choices present in score reports to students and their families. 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.

Research - Performance assessment in health sciences education

Dr. Roduta Roberts studies the measurement properties of practical (i.e., performance) exams assessing professional competencies. She recently completed 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. 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. 

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 is leading a 2-year project exploring 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)


Immersive Virtual Reality for the Reduction of State Anxiety in Clinical Interview Exams: Prospective Cohort Study
Author(s): Concannon, B. J., Esmail, S., & Roduta Roberts, M.
Publication Date: 7/9/2020
Publication: JMIR Serious Games
Volume: 8
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 1-21
External Link:
Exploring Assessor Cognition as a Source of Score Variability in a Performance Assessment of Practice-Based Competencies
Author(s): Roduta Roberts, M., Cook, M., & Chao, I. C. I.
Publication Date: 5/25/2020
Publication: BMC Medical Education
Volume: 20
Issue: 168
Page Numbers: 1-14
External Link:
Development and Examination of a Tool to Assess Score Report Quality
Author(s): Roduta Roberts, M., & Gotch, C. M.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Frontiers in Education
Volume: 4
Issue: 20
External Link:
Examining the Associations Between OSCE Scores and Fieldwork Performance
Author(s): Roduta Roberts, M., Alves, C. B., & Werther, K.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Journal of Allied Health
External Link:
Head-Mounted Display Virtual Reality in Post-Secondary Education and Skill Training: A Systematic Review
Author(s): Concannon, B. J., Esmail, S., & Roduta Roberts, M.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Frontiers in Education
Volume: 4
Issue: 80
External Link: