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ERIC Number: EJ969866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Active Physiology Learning in a Diverse Class: An Analysis of Medical Student Responses in Terms of Sex, Home Language, and Self-Reported Test Performance
Higgins-Opitz, Susan B.; Tufts, Mark
Advances in Physiology Education, v36 n2 p116-124 Jun 2012
The student body at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM) is very diverse, representing many cultures, religions, and languages. Research has shown that weakness in English can impact student performance. Recent studies have also highlighted sex-based differences in students' learning and listening styles. These factors pose both challenges and opportunities for teachers of physiology. Student presentations were incorporated for a number of years into the traditional didactic second-year medical physiology curriculum at the NRMSM. Feedback obtained about the perceived benefits of these presentations for the learning of gastrointestinal and endocrine physiology included demographic data pertaining to students' sex, home language, and self-reported performance in tests. Analysis of the 50-item questionnaire responses, obtained over a 2-yr period, provided some interesting insights. Student responses to the items differed significantly in 27 of the 50 items in the questionnaire, based on sex alone (22%), sex and home language (7%), home language alone (37%), performance alone (26%), and performance and home language (7%). Our analyses of student perceptions support the findings of other studies and show that factors such as sex, home language, and student performance can play an important role in the way students are motivated to learn. In designing active learning strategies, academics need to take into account the potential influences that might affect student learning in diverse, multicultural, and multilingual classes. (Contains 9 tables.)
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: South Africa