Objective: The project aims were: (1) identifying the pedagogical impact of collaborative student experience on student understanding of research methods and (2) evaluating the perceived value of providing students with an international perspective on their professional practice. Methods: Student cohorts from year 1 of the University of Liverpool (UoL) (n = 80) and year 2 of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) (n = 128) undergraduate Medical Radiation Science degree programmes participated in the intervention as part of their teaching. Students were tasked with designing, deploying, and analysing data from survey-based research projects and invited to provide feedback via an anonymous and voluntary online survey (UoL students) or an equivalent paper-based survey (RMIT students), comprising both quantitative (Likert) and qualitative (open) questions. Results: Responses were received from 83% of RMIT and 31% of UoL students. Over 42% of respondents enjoyed the opportunity to interact with overseas peers, while 14.7% did not; 40% of respondents felt the intervention helped in their understanding of research methods, whilst 28% indicated it had not. The main positive themes were learning the research process, team working skills, networking opportunities, and understanding cultural differences. Interpreting data were invaluable; only a minority valued the engagement with their overseas counterparts. There was poor engagement with social media. Conclusions: Students reported clear value of the innovation for learning research skills and process. The extent of research skills learning supports changes in research activity and culture in the past 10 years. With internationalisation becoming increasingly important in today's health care economy, the degree to which the students identified this aspect of the research as a key learning point highlights the benefits of the active approach. The negative appraisal of the social media support was interpreted as a response to the platform (WhatsApp) and privacy issues with sharing phone numbers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: The project was supported financially by a Learning and Teaching Fellowship award from the University of Liverpool. Funding supported the project by encouraging student engagement and attendance at joint meetings outside usual University hours.
© 2018 Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
- research methods
- undergraduate health professionals