Short Online Test And Survey As An Indicator Of Student Risk In Bioscience At A Regional University

Patricia Logan, Jennifer Cox, Sharon Nielsen


Bioscience has long been reported as a source of difficulty and anxiety for nursing students. A number of factors have been identified as risk indicators for non-completion and failure in human bioscience classes. Much of this work however has been retrospective and has focused on urban cohorts. Relatively little information is available for rural/regional cohorts.
Aim: Determine indicators of risk, independent of university entry scores, for a regional/rural student body using an online demographic survey tool that includes a quick science test.
Method: Students voluntarily completed a short science test and demographic survey upon entry to Human bioscience 1. Individual results/responses were combined with the final summative scores for each student and a multivariate analysis undertaken.
Results: A total of 963 students participated in the study; 916 completed all assessments. Only 40.3% had university entry scores. Several risk factors surfaced, the most significant included if a student was the first in their family to attend university. Intended hours of work, study mode, nor socioeconomic status were statistically significant contributors to risk.
Conclusion and Implications: Further development of tools such as the one used for this study needs to be undertaken to enable early identification of ‘at risk’ students and implementation of strategies to assist these students appropriately.

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