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Ms. Anne O'Connor


Dr. Anne O'Connor is Lead of Practice Education for the BSc programme (Physiotherapy) at the School of Allied Health, University of Limerick. She has a specific research interest in practice-based education of health professional students and education of health professional educators. She was awarded a Health Professional Fellowship by the Health Research Board, Ireland in May 2016 to undertake her PhD entitled 'Unwrapping the layers of complexity of clinical performance assessment of physiotherapy students and identifying key stakeholders' preferences towards enhancing the process.' Her research explored the assessment of physiotherapy students in practice education environments, in order to determine the challenges and facilitators of this assessment process and stakeholders' priorities towards its development. Further HRB funding led to her conducting a national seminar series on performance-based assessment for work-based educators, academics and professional bodies in 2019. Her PhD research has prompted a revision of the Common Assessment Form (WBA tool currently used in physiotherapy education in Ireland) which Anne is currently leading. She is also PI on a study investigating resilience, stress and coping strategies of health professional students on graduate entry programmes in UL and has received further funding to implement and evaluate a portfolio system for the integration of feedback to enhance student learning in UL. Anne has published and presented widely in the area of practice education in internationally peer reviewed journals, and interdisciplinary conferences.

Research Interests

  • Work-based assessment
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the clinical learning environment
  • Teaching and assessment of reflective practice
  • Resilience, stress levels and coping strategies among health professional students
  • Integration of feedback for the enhancement of learning
  • Models of practice education used in the workplace
  • Continuing Professional Development of health professionals

Teaching Interests

Health professional education, Reflective Practice, Work-based learning, work-based assessment, qualitative research methods, interprofessional education

Professional Activities


  • 2019 NUI Galway - Diploma Technology Enhanced Learning
  • 2019 University of Limerick - PhD (Work-based assessment in physiotherapy education)
  • 2009 National University of Ireland - Graduate Diploma Clinical Teaching
  • 2005 Manchester Metropolitan University - M.Sc. Science of Sports Injury
  • 1997 Trinity College Dublin - BSc (Physiotherapy)


  • 2019 - Glennon Bursary (€2500)
  • 2019 - National T&L Forum Initiative Type 003/19 (€50,043)
  • 2018 - Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme (€17,602)
  • 2018 - National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning Seminar Series Grant (€1000)
  • 2016 - HRB Health Professional Fellowship (€239,977)
  • 2015 - Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Research Bursary (€500)
  • 2008 - University of Limerick Research Seed Funding (€2000)


  • CORU - Panel Assessor


  • Executive Committee, Irish Network of Health Professional Educators (Formerly INMED)
  • CORU registered physiotherapist, CORU
  • General member, Association of Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)
  • General member, Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists


  • DELTA Implementation Committee (formerly Teaching and Learning Committee) School of Allied Health,
  • Irish Network of Healthcare Educators (INHED),


  • Reviewer for following peer-reviewed journals: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, International Journal of Communication and Language Disorders, Physiotherapy (UK), Physiotherapy Practice and Research (Ireland), British Journal of Nursing

Research Collaborators

  • Prof. Marjan Govaerts - Other - Maastricht University -Netherlands -Collaborator on research exploring use of feedback portfolio with students across health professional disciplines in SAH, UL.
  • Dr. Naomi Winstone - University of Surrey -England -Collaborator on research exploring use of feedback portfolio with students across health professional programmes
  • Dr. Arlene Mc Curtin - Co-supervision of PhD -PhD supervisor (complete) and co-lead on research exploring use of feedback portfolio with students across health professional programmes
  • Prof. Brenda Mori - Joint Publication - University of Toronto -Canada -Co-led pilot of practice tutor model of work-based learning in Canada
  • Professor Peter Cantillon - Co-supervision of PhD -C0-supervised my PhD, and contributed to five published papers as well as several national and international conference proceedings
  • Dr Melissa Parker - Co-supervision of PhD -Co-supervised PhD
  • Dr. Nicolas Krucien - Joint Publication - University of Aberdeen -Scotland -Assisted in data analysis and contributed to paper using Discrete Choice Experiment to determine stakeholders' preferences for the development of work-based assessment in physiotherapy


Conference Publication


Multidisciplinary Practice Education symposium
O¿Connor A, Warren A, Buchhorn M (2009)

Peer Reviewed Journal


Revisiting 1:1 and 2:1 clinical placement models: Student and clinical educator perspectives
O'Connor, A., Cahill, M. and McKay, E.A.
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal


An Investigation of the effects of School Bag Carriage on Trunk Angle
Kennedy, L; Lawlor, F; O'Connor, A; Dockrell, S; Gormley, J
Physiotherapy Ireland