Catering for the masses

Zimanyi, Monika, Megaw, Pamela, and Meldrum, Kathryn (2015) Catering for the masses. In: Abstracts from the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. pp. 73-74. From: ACSME 2015: Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, 30 September - 2 October 2015, Perth, WA, Australia.

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Background: According to Fleming (2012) there are four different learning styles: Visual, Aural, Read/write and Kinaesthetic. We co-teach first year foundation sciences (anatomy and physiology) to approximately 320 allied health students studying four different professional programs (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, and Sport and Exercise Science). This group has a diverse background with just over half first-in-family, and one third regional based students. The entry scores of the group are also very broad, ranging from Overall Position (OP) 1 to 22 (equivalent to ATAR 99.95-35). Thus, we have a large number of students with diverse backgrounds, and the potential for great diversity in learning styles. Catering for this diversity in learning styles is one of our challenges. In the past, the subject materials have been delivered as three didactic lectures per week followed by a two hour practical session. The result has been a high level of student under-performance and attrition. In order to address these issues we decided to deliver the physiology component of the subject using a 'flipped classroom' technique. The learning plans were structured using the 5Es framework with the Elaborate phase structured as workshops comprising active teaching strategies such as role plays, simulations and case studies. The intention was to present materials in various formats to engage different learning styles, cater for the student diversity, and enhance student performance and retention.

Aims: We were interested to know whether the students in different programs would show specific learning preferences. For example, could we predict that students enrolled in Sport Science would prefer kinaesthetic styles as they are the students who enjoy 'doing' things; or that the Physiotherapy students are more likely to prefer read/write styles as they are in general higher academic performers?

Description of intervantion: As part of the 5Es model the traditional practical classes were changed to workshops and active teaching strategies associated with the Elaborate phase were employed.

Design and methods: Students were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire two weeks after the conclusion of the delivery of the final physiology component. Students were asked about their attitude to both the traditional and flipped delivery, their perceptions of preparedness for assessment and their engagement with both traditional and flipped materials on the learning management system. Students registered their responses to questions using a four point Likert scale. Data from the questionnaires was analysed for differences in the frequency responses of the different cohorts taking the subject.

Results: Students studying in the Sport and Exercise Science program were most likely to agree that the role plays helped with developing concepts, while students studying Physiotherapy did not agree that the role plays were helpful. Students studying in the Sport and Exercise Science, and Occupational Therapy programs were equally most likely to agree that both the simulations and case studies helped with developing concepts, while students studying Physiotherapy and Speech Pathology were less likely to agree that the simulations were helpful.

Item ID: 41386
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-9871834-4-6
Keywords: flipped classroom, 5Es, blended learning, active learning, learning styles
Funders: Teaching and Learning Grant
Projects and Grants: HEPPPA - BM suite of subjects 2014
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 03:58
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060699 Physiology not elsewhere classified @ 34%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 33%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 33%
92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 34%
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