Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Feature Archives

Student Academic Entitlement

How often have we had a student ask that a grade close to a cutoff be bumped up, request the rescheduling of an exam or quiz for personal events (non-medical or non-emergency) or request that personal effort be taken into consideration when grading? Who has not experienced an attitude from some students that attending class, […]
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Learning and Teaching about Diversity and Cultural Competence: a Continuum

It is projected that by 2050, the minority population in the United States will increase to the point of representing the majority.1,2 Additionally, a growing number of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, queer/questioning (LGBTQ).3 Along with recognition of these changes, our awareness of disparities in health care and systemic racism has been heightened […]
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Celebrating Teaching Case Reports

This edition of Optometric Education celebrates teaching case reports. The concept of teaching case reports for this journal was developed by Barry Kran, OD, FAAO, from the New England College of Optometry, and Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DRPH, former editor of the journal. The first two teaching case reports ― Management of Anisometropic Amblyopia and […]
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Positive Changes in Applicant Pool Follow
ASCO’s Optometry Gives Me Life Campaign

In the spring of 2019, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) launched the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign. The objective of this public awareness campaign is to develop a robust, diverse and highly qualified pool of applicants to ASCO member schools and colleges of optometry. Early results were promising, and the most […]
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The Four-Year Optometric Education Program: Something’s Got to Give

Optometric scope of practice has evolved significantly in the past 46 years. Originally limited to refractive and binocular conditions,1 the scope expanded by the mid-1970s (when the first four states had granted optometrists the authority to use diagnostic drugs2) and broadened again with the addition of prescribing privileges for therapeutic drugs. Today, optometrists are primary […]
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Unforeseen Outcomes of Remote Learning

During the past year our country faced many challenges. The SARS COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront and changed the lives of many people. The effects of the pandemic impacted multiple areas: politics, public health, medicine, research, education, etc. On a personal level, people’s lives changed with social distancing, wearing of masks, limited gatherings, travel […]
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Education Research and the Institutional
Review Board (IRB)

In an effort to support better teaching and learning, faculty are often revising courses and instituting new teaching methodologies. In some instances, data collected as part of the course assessment demonstrate that the new methodology had a positive impact on learning. Is this considered education research if the faculty member now wants to share the […]
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We’ve Had Our Challenges, and Creative Solutions, During the Pandemic

While I was visiting my 5-year-old granddaughter recently, she proclaimed “I am mad at the coronavirus!” I couldn’t help but feel the same. Our lives had changed on a dime in response to the virus. Our visit was in her backyard. We were six feet away, and I was unable to hug her or play. […]
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Students Increasingly Affected by Anxiety, Depression

Anxiety and depression are apparently on the rise among students at various education levels. The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that 70% of teens say anxiety and depression are major concerns among their peers.1 According to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment II, in 2016 nearly two-thirds of college students reported […]
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The Use of Social Media to Enhance Academic Careers

In June 2019, I had the opportunity to attend a conference, “Writing, Publishing, and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals,” sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Psychological Association. The conference was interesting and educational. The most enlightening aspect was information presented on the use of social media to enhance health professionals’ careers. I like […]
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Reaching Out to Generation Z:
ASCO Launches Optometry Gives Me Life Campaign

In any academic environment, it is important to attract high-quality applicants. Success in this area depends on the public’s awareness of the profession and the ability to connect to future potential applicants. For optometry schools, the next applicants are the college-age members of Generation Z. To connect with them, ASCO recently embarked on an ambitious […]
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A Look Back: Celebrating Women in Optometry

March is National Women’s History Month.1 This observance began as National Women’s History Week in California in the 1970s as a way to increase awareness of women’s historical contributions to the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter formalized National Women’s History Week, relaying this message to the country: “From the first settlers who came to […]
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Statistical Literacy Isn’t Just for Researchers

Statistical literacy is the ability to interpret data and use it to understand the world, make comparisons and, ultimately, make decisions. It is becoming a necessity for people to possess at least some level of statistical literacy because they are inundated with statistics in everyday life — on the news, in political polling and in […]
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@ Our Wit’s End with Unprofessional Student E-mails

Traditionally, out-of-class communication between students and faculty involved meetings during office hours or informal meetings. These meetings have been shown to contribute to a positive student outcome.1-3 Today, e-mail communication between students and faculty is common at all levels of education. It provides students with a convenient and efficient method of interacting with faculty outside […]
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Keeping Disruptive Technologies in Perspective

In 1997, in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Prof. Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School introduced the term “disruptive technology.”1 In the book, Christensen distinguishes sustaining technology from disruptive technology. He characterizes sustaining technologies as those that introduce small changes that improve the performance of an existing technology. He describes disruptive technologies as those that […]
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Achievement of Cultural Competency
is an Ongoing Process

This edition of the journal focuses on cultural and linguistic competency and diversity. Healthcare educators have long recognized the importance of this topic. Understanding cultural competency concepts along with demographics and racial/ethnic diversity in the United States can be helpful to educators in preparing students for current and future optometric practice. Betancourt has defined cultural […]
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Why Tenure is Important

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defines a tenured appointment as “an indefinite appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances … .”1 The AAUP further defines tenure as “a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree […]
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Do Students Still Need to be
Proficient in Gathering Data?

Recently a student assigned to my clinical site commented that retinoscopy and keratometry were useless techniques to master. I was appalled and asked the student to explain the statement. The student said that in previous clinical experiences an autorefractor/keratometer was utilized to obtain a starting point for refraction, and that in the future most potential […]
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Beware of Predatory Publishing

I recently invited New England College of Optometry librarians to speak to my class about critically evaluating resources. During the presentation, they talked about “predatory publishing.” Several students had never heard the term, and when I asked some faculty members whether they were familiar with it, many said they were not. However, after hearing a […]
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Social Media: Opportunities and Challenges

The internet has created the opportunity for social media to thrive. Participating in social media forums, known collectively as “Web 2.0,” allows communication and information-sharing with large groups of people instantaneously. Social media can fall into one of six primary categories:1 Social networks: sites that allow users to connect and share with people who have […]
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Do Our Students Really Possess Information Literacy?

In 2011, the Board of Directors of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) approved an updated “Attributes of Students Graduating from Schools and Colleges of Optometry” report. The report represents contemporary thinking about the requisite competencies for new graduates of optometry degree programs. It states that graduates are “responsible for ongoing self-learning […]
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Should We Require Class Attendance?

A few weeks ago, I walked by a large lecture hall and observed approximately 15-20 students in the room. I thought it must have been an elective course that just happened to be scheduled in a lecture hall, but it was actually a core course for second-year students. (Total enrollment in the second-year class is […]
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A Season of Change in Optometric Education

While change can be beneficial, it can also be a challenge. This edition of the journal reflects that thought, as it highlights three major changes, each affecting either the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), this journal, optometric education as a whole, or all of the above. Leadership Change at ASCO; Longtime Executive […]
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