ERIC Number: EJ1087229
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Student Perceptions of Independent versus Facilitated Small Group Learning Approaches to Compressed Medical Anatomy Education
Whelan, Alexander; Leddy, John J.; Mindra, Sean; Matthew Hughes, J. D.; El-Bialy, Safaa; Ramnanan, Christopher J.
Anatomical Sciences Education, v9 n1 p40-51 Jan-Feb 2016
The purpose of this study was to compare student perceptions regarding two, small group learning approaches to compressed (46.5 prosection-based laboratory hours), integrated anatomy education at the University of Ottawa medical program. In the facilitated active learning (FAL) approach, tutors engage students and are expected to enable and balance both active learning and progression through laboratory objectives. In contrast, the emphasized independent learning (EIL) approach stresses elements from the "flipped classroom" educational model: prelaboratory preparation, independent laboratory learning, and limited tutor involvement. Quantitative (Likert-style questions) and qualitative data (independent thematic analysis of open-ended commentary) from a survey of students who had completed the preclerkship curriculum identified strengths from the EIL (promoting student collaboration and communication) and FAL (successful progression through objectives) approaches. However, EIL led to student frustration related to a lack of direction and impaired completion of objectives, whereas active learning opportunities in FAL were highly variable and dependent on tutor teaching style. A "hidden curriculum" was also identified, where students (particularly EIL and clerkship students) commonly compared their compressed anatomy education or their anatomy learning environment with other approaches. Finally, while both groups highly regarded the efficiency of prosection-based learning and expressed value for cadaveric-based learning, student commentary noted that the lack of grade value dedicated to anatomy assessment limited student accountability. This study revealed critical insights into small group learning in compressed anatomy education, including the need to balance student active learning opportunities with appropriate direction and feedback (including assessment).
Descriptors: Anatomy, Medical Education, Student Attitudes, Independent Study, Active Learning, Cooperative Learning, Mixed Methods Research, Likert Scales, Student Surveys, Clinical Experience, Hidden Curriculum, Laboratory Procedures, Medical Students, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Ottawa)