What medical laboratory science students say about attending lectures and accessing lecture recordings

Sheila Doggrell

Abstract


BACKGROUND
We have shown that there is no association between lecture attendance or accessing lecture recordings and academic outcomes for medical laboratory science students undertaking a biochemistry course (Doggrell et al, 2018). So why do students attend or not attend lectures or access or not access lecture recordings?

AIMS
To survey these medical laboratory students about why they attend or do not attend lectures, or access or not access lecture recordings.

METHODS
Consent for the survey study was sought in week 12 of semester two in 2017. After consenting, the students were requested to complete a survey on Google Drive, available via a link in Blackboard.

RESULTS
In 2017, 48 students attended the tutorial where consent was sought, and 34 students consented (71% of the class) but only 32 (66% of the class) completed the survey. Twelve students reported attending lectures in most weeks (38%), 10 sometimes (34%) and 10 not (31%). The most common reason for attending was “I think I learn more by attending” followed by “it allows for interaction with course staff and/or students” and “I am concerned the recordings may not be complete or the technology for recording may fail”. The most common reason for accessing the recordings as well as attending the lectures was “Clarify difficult concepts” followed by “Revise lecture concepts for assessment purposes” and “Catch up on lectures I missed”.

The most common reason given by the 10 students who did not attend the lectures was “I don’t like the lecture time – it was too early”: the lecture was at 8 am. This was followed by “Too far to travel for lecture” and “I had too few timetabled classes that day and didn’t want to come in for just those”. The students who did not attend lectures, gave similar answers to those who attended lectures, when asked why they accessed lecture recordings instead of attending lectures. Asked for additional comments on the use of lecture recordings as a learning tool, all 9 respondents emphasised the convenience/flexibility/pause/re-watchability of lecture recordings.

CONCLUSIONS
Overall our survey suggests that students are making reasonable judgements on whether to attend lectures or access lecture recordings. It may be possible to improve attendance rates at lectures by timetabling lectures later, and timetabling lectures and laboratories/tutorials for individual cohorts together. As there were no issues with the actual lecture recordings during this study, the student concerns about the technology probably relate to previous experiences or experiences in other courses.

Keywords


student survey; medical laboratory science students; attending lectures; accessing lecture recordings

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