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Student perceptions of the effectiveness of triads to learning in undergraduate sports therapy curriculum: an exploratory study
  1. A Mooney1,
  2. N Breeze2
  1. 1Institute of Sport, PE & Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
  2. 2Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK

Abstract

Triads, a type of Peer Assisted Learning used in clinical education settings are documented in medical and health professions research, (Burke et al. MT 2007;29:577–82, Henning et al. JAT 2006,41:102–8). Considering the rise in sports medicine curricula in the UK this pedagogical strategy is largely uninvestigated. This exploratory study aims firstly to implement a new pedagogy and secondly to evaluate student learning potential using triads within an undergraduate curriculum from a UK perspective. 21 Year 2 BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy students at University of Worcester, England completed a questionnaire survey answered in retrospect of classes in Sports Massage and Exercise Therapy in academic year 09–10. A mixed-methods research design employed a survey which focused on understanding the dynamics present within this single setting (Eisenhardt, 2002, 5–35). A Cronbach coefficient of reliability score of 0.93 demonstrated consistency of student responses. Highest mode values of 5 reveal that triad members learned effectively in the student-therapist role by working in a more focused environment and anticipating feedback; in the student-client role, by experiencing techniques and sample viva voce questions asked; in the student-examiner role by using the mark-sheet and gaining understanding of skills assessed and marks awarded in final exams. These findings are akin to positive qualitative comments towards group work and transparency of assessment procedures. Lowest mode values of 3 highlight how students did not learn effectively by answering questions on the spot and delivering a program without rehearsal. These results are reminiscent of comments on feeling nervous, unprepared and under peer pressure. Student responses suggest merits in the implementation of triads. Continuing research engaging more institutions in UK and global contexts could facilitate questionnaire validation, comparative studies and potential internationalisation of curricula.

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