- A-Z Publications
- African Journal of Health Professions Education
- Previous Issues
- Volume 8, Issue 1, 2016
African Journal of Health Professions Education - Volume 8, Issue 1, 2016
Volume 8, Issue 1, 2016
Author Vanessa BurchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.802More Less
Cultural competence has become yet another buzz word in the education of healthcare professionals. According to Prasad et al., 'culturally competent care assumes that healthcare providers can learn a quantifiable set of attitudes and communication skills that will allow them to work effectively within the cultural context of the patients they come across'. The questions that arise, therefore, are whether clinical trainees are being fully supported to acquire this fundamental skill and whether overloaded curricula can accommodate the ongoing demand for more 'teaching time'. A recent survey found that two-thirds of US medical schools offer a medical Spanish curriculum. These data are very encouraging until the article is read in more detail. Most of these curricula are elective, not eligible for course credit, and few schools reported the use of validated instruments to measure language proficiency after completing the curriculum. Major barriers to implementing these curricula include lack of time in students' schedules, overly heterogeneous student language skill levels, and a lack of financial resources.
The development of a reflective vascular training portfolio : using a country-specific infrastructure : short reportSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 4 –5 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.523More Less
Reflective learning is considered an advanced form of learning; however, it has not been routinely incorporated into postgraduate and subspecialty educational surgical portfolios. The concept of training portfolios is not clearly understood by both trainees and teachers. Subspecialty surgical programmes rely heavily on logbooks and other forms of formative assessment to certify candidates. Case-based self-reflection in postgraduate training may be used as an additional educational tool and incorporated into the curricula vitae of trainees. We describe the method used to assess a vascular case, based on a self-reflective training method (vascular case portfolio).
Randomised controlled trials in educational research : ontological and epistemological limitations : short reportSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 6 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.683More Less
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are a valued research method in evidence-based practice in medical and clinical settings because they are associated with a particular ontological and epistemological perspective that is situated within a positivist world view. It assumes that environments and variables can be controlled to establish cause-effect relationships. However, current theories of learning suggest that knowledge is socially constructed, and that learning occurs in open systems that cannot be controlled and manipulated as would be required in a RCT. They recognise the importance and influence of context on learning, which positivist research paradigms specifically aim to counter. We argue that RCTs are inappropriate in education research because they force one to take up ontological and epistemological positions in a technical rationalist framework, which is at odds with current learning theory.
Author S.S. BandaSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 9 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.712More Less
The debate with regard to standard setting continues among scholars, but the perfect method remains elusive. Nonetheless, resolute demands for accountability by means of defensible, valid and reliable practices, including pass or fail decisions, provide an opportune vehicle for scholars to consider the quality of assessments and ramifications on standard setting. This conceptual review considers how standard setting can be placed strategically in the quality dialogue space to address concerns about credibility and defensibility in the literature. Quality performance standards and the effect of assessment outcomes are important in the educational milieu, as assessment remains the representative measure of achievement of the prescribed performance standard but also includes the quality of health professions education (HPE). The author suggests that standard setting can be a pivotal focus for technical and psychometric sufficiency of assessments and accountability of HPE institutions towards stakeholders. Standard setting should not be seen as a methodological process of setting pass/fail cut-off points only, but as a powerful catalyst for quality improvements in HPE by promoting excellence in assessments.
Medical students' views on the use of video technology in the teaching of isiZulu communication, language skills and cultural competence : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 11 –14 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.402More Less
Background. The role of communicator has been included as a key competency for health science students in South Africa. Owing to the population's diverse language and cultural backgrounds, communication between patients and healthcare professionals is challenging. In this study, the Attention, Generation, Emotion and Spacing (AGES) neurocognitive model of learning was used as a framework to create videos for language teaching for the vocational needs of students.
Objectives. To explore students' views on the use of videos of simulated clinical scenarios for isiZulu communication and language teaching and the development of cultural awareness.
Methods. Videos were developed using first- and second-language isiZulu speakers with scripts (verified by the university's Language Board) based on authentic clinical settings. Videos were shown to a target group of students, who were then interviewed in focus group discussions. Audio recordings from the discussions were transcribed and analysed thematically in three categories, i.e. communication, language skills, and cultural awareness, using deductive coding based on the objectives of the research.
Results. Students affirmed numerous benefits of the videos and commented on their use and further development. Benefits described related well to the AGES model of learning and fulfilled the learning requirements of communication teaching, language acquisition and cultural awareness.
Conclusion. The videos represent an innovative teaching method for the resource-constrained environment in which we work and are relevant to the21st century learner. Further evaluation and development of the tool using different scenarios and African languages is recommended.
Effect of curriculum changes to enhance generic skills proficiency of 1st-year medical students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 15 –19 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.414More Less
Background. Curriculum review is a dynamic, iterative process, and the effect of change may not always be wholly predictable. At Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, revision of the MB, ChB curriculum was undertaken to meet enhanced and changing educational and medical practice, and to provide opportunities to enhance optimal generic skills underpinning effective learning, implemented in 2008.
Objective. To determine the extent to which the newly implemented revised curriculum had an effect on experience in necessary generic skills of students in their first year of study.
Methods. Students provided annual formal end-of-module evaluation in addition to focus group interviews. Evaluation by teaching staff was conducted by individual in-depth interviews. A validated generic skills questionnaire completed at the end of each academic year monitored the effect on students' generic learning skills experience.
Results. Feedback from these different evaluation methods identified specific needs in the newly implemented revised curriculum, including contextualisation of interventions, unnecessary duplication of content and malalignment of assessment. This led to minor curriculum changes and an educational capacity-building programme. These responsive curriculum changes after evaluation had the intended positive effect on students' selfreported acquisition of generic learning skills.
Conclusion. The objective of the curriculum evaluation was to monitor content output and the acquisition of crucial generic learning skills. Implementation of a revised curriculum combined with ongoing responsive changes aligned with careful multimodality evaluation can ensure that, in addition to scientific knowledge and skills, generic learning skills development of students is facilitated.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 20 –24 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.422More Less
Background. University students are exposed to a multitude of stressors that may impact on their performance. The nature of health sciences education generally involves early engagement with patients and communities, which may add to the stressors inherent to university life. There is sparse information on stressors in the oral hygiene educational environment.
Objective. To determine perceived stressors and the level of burnout among oral hygiene students at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.
Method. A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was used. The study sample included all students in the Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) degree during 2012 (N=89). A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data. Three parameters were measured, i.e. (i) demographic characteristics; (ii) perceived sources of stress, using a modified Dental Environment Stress (DES) questionnaire; and (iii) burnout, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI).
Results. Respondents were mostly female (74%) and primarily in the 18 - 25-year age group (92%). First- and 2nd-year students identified fear of failing and study load as major stressors. Stressors related to a lack of basic needs were identified as major stressors by 25% of 1st-year students. Third-year students identified clinical quotas, supervision and patients being late as major stressors. MBI scores indicated that students were not at risk for burnout; however, most students (66.2%) scored high on emotional exhaustion (EE).
Conclusion. Oral hygiene students identified stressors in their learning environment. There was a progressive increase in EE across academic years.The results suggest that interventions should be tailored for specific academic year groups.
Balancing the educational choices in the decision-making of a dean of medicine : fission or fusion? : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 25 –29 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/hppt://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.474More Less
Background. The literature on deans of medicine focuses mostly on the qualifications, roles, abilities, management and leadership competence of the deans. The gap between theory and practice is, however, the nucleus of the position.
Objectives. To describe insights into the educational forces that act on a dean of medicine and the implications for those who wish to bring about change - in this case, changes in the inclusion of public health in the medical curriculum.
Methods. A series of in-depth interviews of a vice dean (VD) of medicine was conducted over a period of a year. The interviews were transcribed. Initial in-depth analysis of the transcriptions was done using open coding, prior to a second round of coding that resulted in themes.
Results. The interviews revealed a serendipitous aspect, namely the ontological realities of the VD's practice. This practice is characterised by balancing multiple internal and external forces, such as the breadth and depth of the curriculum that acts on the medical curriculum.
Conclusion. The ontological realities of the VD bring to life the qualifications and leadership, and management competence, roles and abilities described in the literature. The multiple - often opposing - educational choices that deans face are an inescapable reality of deanship. Medical deans must balance these opposing forces to ensure fusion within the curriculum, and those interested in changes, such as strengthening the teaching of public health in this curriculum, need to plan on how to overcome this.
Relationship between student preparedness, learning experiences and agency : perspectives from a South African university : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 30 –32 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.490More Less
Background. One of the more discernible needs that challenges universities is addressing the level of preparedness of students entering the higher education environment. Students expect to participate in active learning, while at the same time adopting a certain level of agency to successfully pass through higher education.
Objective. To determine the relationship between student preparedness, learning experiences and agency of students in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS), University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 266 (N=578) convenience sampled 3rd-year students in the FCHS. Data were collected with an instrument constructed from items of evaluation from the departments in the FCHS and other validated instruments.
Results. Findings suggest that 3rd-year students perceive themselves as moderately prepared on enrolling at UWC (mean (SD) 13.74 (1.86)); current learning experiences are favourably indicated (94.04 (15.32)). On average, students perceive themselves to be agents of their own learning (51.56 (8.79)). Furthermore, a significantly positive relationship was found between learning experiences and agency.
Conclusion. This study broadens our understanding of the Vygotskian perspective of the zone of proximal development, where students bring their own knowledge, interact with lecturers who scaffold their learning, and then become agents in their own learning.
Perceptions of undergraduate dental students at Makerere College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda towards patient record keeping : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 33 –36 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.521More Less
Background. The creating, maintenance and storage of patients' medical records is an important competence for the professional training of a dental student.
Objective. Owing to the unsatisfactory state of dental records at the students' clinic, the objective of this study was to obtain information from undergraduate dental students on the factors that affect this process and elicit recommendations for improvement.
Methods. This qualitative cross-sectional study used focus group discussions with 4th- and 5th-year dental students for data collection. Data were captured through a written transcript and an audio recorder. The data were transcribed and analysed manually through developing themes, which werecompared with the literature and interpreted.
Results. Three themes emerged: (i) Poorly designed clerking forms. The clerking forms were deemed to have a poor design with inadequate space for clinical notes. It was recommended that they be redesigned. (ii) Inadequate storage space. Space for storing patient records was deemed inadequate and a referencing system for file retrieval was lacking. It was recommended that more space be allocated for storage, with a referencing system for easy fileretrieval. (iii) Poor maintenance of records. Patients' records, especially radiographs, were not well labelled and stored. It was recommended that drug envelopes be utilised to store radiographs. An electronic system was deemed the ultimate solution to this problem.
Conclusion. The general perception was that the current paper-based record system at the clinic was unsatisfactory. Therefore, there is a need to improve the maintenance and storage of records, and to change to a more efficient electronic system. The students' attitude towards record keeping was found to be questionable, with a need to be addressed as part of teaching and learning in the curriculum. Lecturers were deemed to have a bigger role to play in the record-keeping process.
Fieldwork practice for learning : lessons from occupational therapy students and their supervisors : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 37 –40 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.536More Less
Background. Fieldwork practice forms a vital part of occupational therapy (OT) education and contributes significantly to competent practice and students' clinical reasoning. Students' learning is positively or negatively influenced by their fieldwork experience.
Objective. To explore the views and experiences of final-year OT students, site-based clinicians and university-based academic supervisors to identify strategies that influenced students' learning during fieldwork practice.
Methods. This descriptive qualitative study used a purposeful sampling technique. Data collection strategies included focus group discussions with clinical and academic supervisors and semi-structured interviews with final-year students. Each set of data was analysed according to the research questions. The researcher analysed the data into themes, which were corroborated by a supervisor. Data source and analyst triangulation ensured trustworthiness of the study.
Results. Two themes, i.e. difficulties experienced by students during fieldwork and supervision strategies that they found beneficial for learning, are described. Guidance and mentoring from experienced therapists helped students to link observations from assessments and intervention plans. Observations of treatment sessions, peer learning and practice in the skills laboratories were beneficial for learning, competence and confidence. Guided questions from supervisors to enhance reflexive practice and peer learning strengthened the students' confidence and ability to give feedback to their peers. The students also benefited from sessions that allowed them the freedom and space to work autonomously.
Conclusion. This study provides insight into the difficulties that students experienced when engaging with fieldwork and offers some strategies that have been found to advance their learning.
On being agents of change : a qualitative study of elective experiences of medical students at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 41 –44 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.540More Less
Background. Student electives during the 5th year of the University of Cape Town (UCT) medical curriculum provide a 4-week work experience in the health system. The reflective reports of past students indicate that the electives may significantly shape their developing identities as health professionals and agents of change.
Objective. To better understand how 5th-year medical elective students perceive themselves as agents of change to strengthen the elective programme in the Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT. The hypothesis was that the more choice that students are given over their learning, the greater is their sense of agency.
Methods. Thirteen 5th-year student volunteers participated in four focus group discussions soon after completing their electives in district, regional or tertiary health facilities in the South African health system. Thematic analysis of the transcripts was performed independently by two of the authors.
Results. Key themes were the importance of providing holistic patient-centred care, becoming a competent health professional, working within the health team and advocating for a better health system. The elective experience helped students to be more confident in their abilities and to better understand how to effect change at a clinical and health system level.
Conclusion. This study supported the hypothesis that the more choice students have over their learning, the greater is their sense of agency. The electives are appreciated as opportunities to develop clinical skills and competencies and to better understand the role of future doctors within the health team and health system. The value of the UCT elective programme could be enhanced by greater promotion, funding for rural electives, and post-elective peer-to peer feedback sessions. This study will inform planning for an extended 2016 medical elective programme in the Faculty.
Mapping undergraduate exit-level assessment in a medical programme : a blueprint for clinical competence? : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 45 –49 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.546More Less
Background. Assessment is an essential component of a medical curriculum. High-stakes exit-level assessment used for licensing and certification purposes needs to be sound. Even though criteria for evaluating assessment practices exist, an analysis of the nature of these practices is first required.
Objective. To map current exit-level assessment practices, as described in institutional documentation.
Methods. This descriptive interpretive study centred on the document analysis of final-phase study guides of the undergraduate medical programme at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
Results. The key findings were: (i) there is a diversity of methods and approaches to assessment in the final-phase modules; (ii) modules using similar assessment methods applied different credit weightings; (iii) similar assessment methods were described differently across the study guides; and (iv) study guides varied in the amount of information provided about the assessment methods.
Conclusion. There is a diverse range of assessment practices at exit level of the MB, ChB programme at Stellenbosch University. This in-depth analysis of assessment methods has highlighted areas where current practice needs to be investigated in greater depth, and where shifts to a more coherent practice should be encouraged. Assessment mapping provides a useful reference for programme co-ordinators and is applicable to other programmes.
The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation, South Africa : lessons towards community involvement in health professional education : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 50 –55 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.559More Less
Background. Internationally, the development of partnerships between institutions of higher learning and the communities they serve is stressed as a priority. The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (UYDF) is an educational model developed in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa as a response to the scarcity of medical personnel in hospitals. Community involvement in health professional education has become a key strategy in the model, and review of the model may provide lessons for other educators towards implementing community involvement in health professional education.
Objective. To review the UYDF, with emphasis on aspects of community involvement.
Methods. This qualitative study used a social accountability theoretical framework. Data were collected using the Appreciative Inquiry method and participants who were involved in the UYDF model were interviewed. Themes arising around community involvement were generated inductively.
Results. Community involvement in health professional education grew from a funding requirement and has strengthened over time to become an integral component of the UYDF model. Community involvement occurred mainly at the student selection process, but continued during education and after graduation. Participants suggested means by which community involvement could be strengthened.
Conclusion. The UYDF successfully presents a model that facilitates community involvement in health professional education. Lessons learnt could guide other models, and the UYDF model could be strengthened by further research.
Exploring knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about generic medicines among final-year health science students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 56 –58 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.560More Less
Background. The use of generic medicines to reduce healthcare costs has become a mandated policy in South Africa. An increase in the use of generics can be achieved through improved knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of generic medicine among healthcare professionals.
Objective. To explore knowledge, attitudes and perceptions among final-year health science students on generic medication.
Methods. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among the final-year audiology, dental therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, optometry, speech-language and sport science students enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. A questionnaire was used as the study tool, developed using information adapted from literature reviews. Data analysis was completed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21, and computed using descriptive statistics.
Results. Total number of participants was 211, as follows: audiology (n=14), dental therapy (n=15), pharmacy (n=81), physiotherapy (n=41), occupational therapy (n=6), optometry (n=25), speech-language (n=6) and sport science (n=23). A total of 90.0% of students had heard of generic medicines, with 20.9% of them agreeing that generic medicines are less effective than brand-name medicines. Concerning safety, 30.4% believed that brand-name medicines are required to meet higher safety standards than generic medicines. Regarding the need for information on issues pertaining to safety and efficacy of medicines, 53.3% of participants felt that this need was not being met.
Conclusion. All groups had knowledge deficits about the safety, quality and efficacy of generic medicines. The dissemination of information about generic medicines may strengthen future knowledge, attitudes and perceptions.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 59 –64 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.561More Less
Background. Home-based rehabilitation (HBR) in under-resourced areas in a primary healthcare (PHC) context exposes students to the real-life situations of their clients. There is a scarcity of literature on student and client experiences of HBR in the physiotherapy context. Increased knowledge of HBR could result in an enhanced experience for both student and client. This study sought to discover the perceptions of final-year physiotherapy students and their clients relating to their experiences of HBR during a PHC placement in a resource-constrained setting.
Objectives. To explore the experiences and perceptions of physiotherapy students and their clients regarding HBR as part of clinical training in resource-constrained settings. To discover the barriers to and facilitators of effective HBR.
Methods. An exploratory case study was performed. A qualitative phenomenological research design in the interpretivist paradigm was used. Semistructured interviews were conducted with clients (n=7) living in an under-resourced setting, who had received HBR from physiotherapy students. Paired interviews were conducted with final-year physiotherapy students (n=6) after their HBR placement.
Results. Clients appreciated the studentsâ?? services; however, data revealed communication barriers and unmet expectations. Students reported struggling to adapt to the context, resulting in interventions not being sufficiently client-centred. They voiced a need for language competency and earlier exposure to such contexts.
Conclusion. Exposure to real-life situations in under-resourced settings in HBR provides valuable situated and authentic learning opportunities for physiotherapy students. The experience can be useful in preparing graduates to address the needs of the populations they serve during community service.
An exploration into the awareness and perceptions of medical students of the psychosocio cultural factors which influence the consultation : implications for teaching and learning of health professionals : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 65 –68 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.562More Less
Background. South African society is undergoing rapid changes, and includes people from different cultures, beliefs and social backgrounds. Research suggests that these contextual influences have an important bearing on how patients present and relate to healthcare providers. Medical students, too, have a life-world based on their own backgrounds and cultures, and may find relating to a patient with a different life-world challenging.
Objectives. To explore students' awareness and perceptions of how psychosocio cultural factors in a multicultural society influence the consultation, and to suggest adaptations for teaching.
Methods. Focus group discussions were conducted with final-year medical students in the Family Medicine rotation. Some of the students had viewed a video of a consultation with an isiZulu-speaking patient, and completed a self-reflection learning task. Audio recordings were transcribed and analysed thematically.
Results. Exposure to patients in the clinical years had made students aware of the challenges of cultural diversity, although they felt under-prepared to deal with this. Students alluded to the influences of their own cultures, of cultural similarities as well as differences, the roles and behaviours of doctors and patients in cross-cultural consultations, the potential knowledge and experience gap that exists across cultures, and an awareness of the need for patient-centredness.
Conclusion. Students should be assisted to improve their cultural competence. Recommendations are made for using various methods, including critical incidents and visual learning to provide opportunities for reflexive practice and transformative learning. Educators must be equipped to address learning objectives relating to cultural competence.
The way forward with dental student communication at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 69 –71 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.571More Less
Background. Dental students are extensively trained to provide dental treatment to their patients during the undergraduate programme. However, no or little time is spent on the training of basic communication skills. Embedding a communication course in the curriculum would require support of the teaching staff and clinical teachers.
Objective. To explore the perceptions of the clinical teachers with regard to the teaching and learning of dental student communication.
Methods. The study had a two-phase, sequential, exploratory, mixed-methods research design. The first phase explored the lecturers' perceptions of dental student-patient communication by means of a focus group interview (n=5). Findings were used to develop the questionnaire for the second phase. The survey was distributed to 57 clinical teachers using the online SurveyMonkey system (USA).
Results. Sixty-three percent rated dental student-patient communication as good. All the respondents thought communication skills should be included in the dental curriculum. Of the total, 47% strongly agreed that students wish to continue with their work and not attend to communication. Of the clinical teachers, 47% strongly agreed that they need training on how to communicate and assess communication skills. Sixty-eight percent strongly agreed that developing and teaching a communication module should be shared among faculty staff.
Conclusion. Clinical teachers agreed that communication skills training and clinical assessment in the dental curriculum are important. The study raised awareness among faculty members about the importance of communication skills and ensured initial buy-in for the development of such a course.
An online formative assessment tool to prepare students for summative assessment in physiology : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 72 –76 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.581More Less
Background. The didactic approach to teaching physiology in our university has traditionally included the delivery of lectures to large groups, illustrating concepts and referencing recommended textbooks. Importantly, at undergraduate level, our assessments demand a level of application of physiological mechanisms to recognised pathophysiological conditions.
Objective. To bridge the gap between lectured material and the application of physiological concepts to pathophysiological conditions, we developed a technological tool approach that augments traditional teaching.
Methods. Our e-learning initiative, eQuip, is a custom-built e-learning platform specifically created to align question types included in the program to be similar to those used in current assessments. We describe our formative e-learning system and present preliminary results after the first year of introduction, reporting on the performances and perceptions of 2nd-year physiology students.
Results. Students who made use of eQuip for at least three of the teaching blocks achieved significantly better results than those who did not use the program (p=0.0032). Questionnaire feedback was positive with regard to the administration processes and usefulness of eQuip. Students reported particularly liking the ease of access to information; however, <60% of them felt that eQuip motivated them to learn.
Conclusion. These results are consistent with the literature, which shows that students who made use of an online formative assessment tool performed better in summative assessment tasks. Despite the improved performance of students, the questionnaire results showed that student motives for using online learning tools indicated that they lack self-directed learning skills and seek easy access to information.
The forensic autopsy as a teaching tool : attitudes and perceptions of undergraduate medical students at the University of Pretoria, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 77 –80 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.589More Less
Background. Numerous articles have been published on the use of autopsies in training medical students in anatomy and different branches of pathology. Some authors have described the emotional response of students who attend such postmortem sessions. Forensic pathology is an important subdivision of pathology. In some countries undergraduate medical students are expected to attend postmortem examinations on persons who died from traumatic causes.
Objective. To determine the attitudes and perceptions of 5th-year medical students with regard to forensic postmortem examinations at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Methods. A questionnaire was voluntarily completed by medical students on the last day of the practical rotation.
Results. The overall rating of the practical rotation was 82%. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis indicated the following as strengths: record keeping, legislation review and traumatology description; as weaknesses: emotional trauma and nightmares; as opportunities: the attendance of autopsies; and as threats: physical dangers.
Conclusion. The current study was similar to international studies with regard to students' emotional response to attending autopsies. The autopsy remains a valuable teaching tool for undergraduate students. Emotional support is currently available for all students to assist them in overcoming their fear of attending forensic autopsy sessions.