NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1004967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Conception of Learning and Clinical Skill Acquisition in Undergraduate Exercise Science Students: A Pilot Study
Johnson, Nathan; Chuter, Vivienne; Rooney, Kieron
Advances in Physiology Education, v37 n1 p108-111 Mar 2013
Learning clinical skills presents a novel experience for undergraduate students, particularly when it comes to preparing for skill assessment. Compared with the thousands of hours of practice believed to be necessary for the development of motor skill expertise (1), these students have significantly limited exposure time. Furthermore, effective clinicians combine procedural skills expertise with the flexibility required to implement these in the real-world environment in which clients and situations can change. Therefore, unlike the learning of theory (such as solving a physics problem), rote learning and repetition may not maximize learning outcomes for the development of new clinical skills. The pilot study described here reports the level of clinical skill mastery in undergraduate exercise science students who were learning and being assessed on clinical skills for the first time. In this unit, the students were provided with a variety of learning experiences (delivery modes: videos, face-to-face tutorials, printed handouts, and lectures) from which to prepare for a skills examination that assessed their accuracy of implementing clinical techniques with real human subjects. The purpose of this investigation was to examine whether student performance in the skills assessment was related to their conception of learning, which was inferred from responses to a voluntary survey. To gain some insight into student approaches to the learning of clinical skills and to inform future teaching and learning approaches, the researchers also sought to examine student engagement with the learning material and the possible interaction between clinical skill mastery and conceptions of learning. The results indicated that "Mastery" (i.e, the ability to achieve an accurate outcome for all examined skills on the first attempt) was associated with a higher conception of learning (CLS) score. These findings may serve as a stimulus for future research examining the interaction between learning approach and clinical skills development for undergraduate students. This potentially includes issues such as how to implement teaching and assessment to best promote a deep approach to clinical skill learning and the interaction between conception of learning and the long-term retention of clinical skills. (Contains 4 tables, 1 figure, and 1 footnote.)
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A