First Year Undergraduates, Physiology Education Research, Engagement
Brown, S. J.
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Surveys which measure student engagement should be simple and convenient to use, yet robust enough to capture meaningful data. In the current study, a 10-question survey was used to measure 3 constructs of student engagement, these being cooperative learning, cognitive challenge, and personal skills. These were measured in an introductory undergraduate Human anatomy and physiology course. With 407 respondents, the internal reliability of the sub-scales was good (Cronbach alpha values > 0.8). Data indicated that a large proportion of students did not engage cooperatively in the classroom by either not asking questions or not working with others. Also, more than 40% of students neither worked with classmates outside the classroom nor helped tutor classmates during class. Students (65%) reported that the course required them to be independent learners, and only 37% of students reported that they were encouraged to demonstrate the skill of working and learning effectively with other individuals. Written feedback from students indicated that engagement in educationally purposeful activities (e.g. tutorials) was one of the best aspects of the course. Measuring engagement in an introductory anatomy and physiology course can provide an early indication of the student experience