Influence of a veterinary curriculum on the approaches and study skills of veterinary medical students

Munashe Chigerwe, Jan E. Ilkiw, Karen A. Boudreaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objectives of the present study were to evaluate first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year veterinary medical students' approaches to studying and learning as well as the factors within the curriculum that may influence these approaches. A questionnaire consisting of the short version of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) was completed by 405 students, and it included questions relating to conceptions about learning, approaches to studying, and preferences for different types of courses and teaching. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, Cronbach's alpha analysis, and log-linear analysis were performed on the data. Deep, strategic, and surface learning approaches emerged. There were a few differences between our findings and those presented in previous studies in terms of the correlation of the subscale monitoring effectiveness, which showed loading with both the deep and strategic learning approaches. In addition, the subscale alertness to assessment demands showed correlation with the surface learning approach. The perception of high workloads, the use of previous test files as a method for studying, and examinations that are based only on material provided in lecture notes were positively associated with the surface learning approach. Focusing on improving specific teaching and assessment methods that enhance deep learning is anticipated to enhance students' positive learning experience. These teaching methods include instructors who encourage students to be critical thinkers, the integration of course material in other disciplines, courses that encourage thinking and reading about the learning material, and books and articles that challenge students while providing explanations beyond lecture material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • curriculum
  • learning approaches
  • skills
  • student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Education

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