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Medical students' learning experiences and perceptions of immunology


Lee, AY and Malau-Aduli, BS, Medical students' learning experiences and perceptions of immunology, The Internet Journal of Medical Education, 3, (1) pp. 1-12. ISSN 2155-6725 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Background: A major hurdle for medical educators today is determining how to effectively engage students in their study of immunology so that the concepts learnt can be retained and applied in the clinical years and beyond. No study has yet examined this in a systematic manner.

Aims: This study aims to investigate medical studentsí learning experience of basic immunology and their perceptions of the relevance of immunology to their current education and future professional lives.

Method: A total of 131 medical students from Years 1-5 at the University of Tasmania, Australia responded to an online, self-administered and anonymous survey. Both quantitative and free-response qualitative data were subjected to statistical analyses to explore the studentsí perceptions and learning experiences in their study of immunology.

Results: The students felt learning immunology is important and justified in their medical education; but they did not enjoy the learning experience. The students found immunology to be complex and difficult to relate to clinically. They also indicated that they are less likely to apply learnt immunological principles/concepts in their future practice of medicine.

Conclusion: Immunology is a challenging subject that may be overwhelming for medical students. Innovative teaching approaches need to be employed by medical educators to emphasise the pertinence of immunology in medical education and to engage students in experiential learning. Recommendations on improving studentsí educational experiences in immunology and areas of future research were also proffered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:educational experiences, immunology, lifelong learning, medical students
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lee, AY (Dr Adrian Lee)
UTAS Author:Malau-Aduli, BS (Dr Bunmi Malau-Aduli)
ID Code:86375
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2013-09-10
Last Modified:2014-05-07

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