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Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy
Fieldwork - Remediation Ideas - Grading Activities
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When a student has difficulty with grading activities, he/she has difficulty adapting the task to make it a just right challenge for the client. He/she may make the task too easy and boring or too hard and frustrating for the patient. Either way, the client is not experiencing success with the activity.

First ask the student to identify the rationale behind selecting this particular activity. Have the student consider these:
  • Is this activity an appropriate one for this client given the information you have?
  • Is it culturally appropriate? Age appropriate? Gender appropriate?
  • Is the client intrinsically motivated to do it?
  • Can the task be adapted easily?
If the student answered the above questions and the activity has met this criteria, then move to the task analysis.

Next, have student list each step of the activity, the assistance or cues to provide, how to gradually increase or decrease performance demands. You can make a chart similar to this one.

(Begin each step with a verb)-do what?

Physical Assistance/ cues to provide

Decrease performance demands

Increase performance demands




The student should consider the task demands and possible changes such as positioning the client, positioning of the materials, size of materials, type of tools needed, type of cues provided, amount of assistance provided, etc. The student can change the environment, the task, or the person. Have the student write this out ahead of the treatment so the thought process is in place.

Sometimes the student can do the task analysis component well, but has difficulty with the synthesis. This is the part when the task demands are changed to match the client’s abilities. This is the essence of grading a task. If this is the problem, have the student analyze the same task with two very different patients (i.e. a five year old with CP and an adult with TBI). This may help illustrate the synthesis component. Discuss the analysis and synthesis components with the student.

University of South Alabama Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions Department of Occupational Therapy