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ERIC Number: EJ968840
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Analytical Essay Writing: A New Activity Introduced to a Traditional Curriculum
Kommalage, Mahinda
Advances in Physiology Education, v36 n1 p54-57 Mar 2012
Medical students following a traditional curriculum get few opportunities to engage in activities such as a literature search, scientific writing, and active and collaborative learning. An analytical essay writing activity (AEWA) in physiology was introduced to first-year students. Each student prepared an essay incorporating new research findings with existing knowledge on a medical topic. Students were expected to study on the topic in detail from textbooks as well as from research publications and write a descriptive and critical analysis. This activity would help them to be aware of new developments in the field and understand the complexity and rapidity of changes in the subject. The aim of this study was to learn how students used the AEWA as a learning process. For this purpose, student perceptions were assessed quantitatively and those of the faculty staff were assessed qualitatively. The data from the students showed considerable achievements in the medical database search, scientific writing, group work, and search for new scientific knowledge. The activity was influenced by prior capabilities in computer use, English language knowledge, and writing ability. Resources available at the medical school had a greater influence on the activity. Faculty staff appreciated the quality of the essay while highlighting areas of improvement. The students seemed to be satisfied with the supervisory role of the faculty staff, whereas the staff felt that the students used the supervisors less than expected. The AEWA was a successful activity promoting many aspects of active and collaborative learning. The low availability of books and information and communications technology (ICT) resources, poor internet connection, and insufficient English language skills were probably responsible for the negative feedback on this activity in this resource-deprived environment. (Contains 1 table.)
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
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sri Lanka