The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

STUDENT PERCEPTION OF THE USEFULNESS OF A LEARNING STYLE ASSESSMENT AND THE USE OF STREAMING VIDEO IN AN ONLINE RESPIRATORY CARE COURSE. 

Douglas E. Masini, EdD, RPFT, RRT-NPS, FAARC and Don Samples, EdD, RRT. East Tennessee State University (ETSU), Elizabethton, TN

Rationale: Modern technology allows us to use streaming video to demonstrate respiratory care treatments to students in the Blackboard platform used at ETSU for online courses. However, the investigators questioned if 1. A learning style assessment (the VARK, visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic) was useful in this web-based course and, 2. Did students gain new and useful knowledge from videotaped, problem-based exercises. Method: All students took the VARK and reported scores to an online discussion forum. The investigators then randomly assigned participants in the convenience sample (n=13) (by means of drawing cards with the modality written on the card); to two groups, one to perform the modality correctly or and one to perform it incorrectly. Student performances of the modality (intermittent positive pressure breathing, continuous positive airway pressure, inhaled medications, airway clearance techniques, etc.) were captured on digital videotape in a 30 second streaming video. Students constructed the streaming video lesson, were responsible for performing the modality, coaching peers in the execution of the modality, and development of linked scripts that told the learner the proper performance techniques. Scripts and performance were based upon textbooks, peer-reviewed literature, Therapeutic Objectives (TO) and Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs)]. Students then evaluated the quality of the therapy they saw on the web-based video, participated in online forums, and responded to surveys as to the usefulness of the video as a learning tool in the online course of study. Media-rich external links, music, anatomy and pathology slides, videos, and interactive media were added to the course to complement student multimodal learning styles. 

RESULTS: Post-experience, students responded to a Likert scaled survey on their learning experience in the web-based course. 11/13 (85%) agreed that they learned more in classroom courses than web-based courses. This may be in part due to participants' VARK scores, which were varietal and multi-modal, with no single preferred style or any correlation to gender or age of participants. 11/13 students (85%) agreed that VARK results represented their learning style, with one unsure and one disagree. 13/13 (100%) students agreed that the student-directed video component made the course more interesting, and 12/13 (92%) agreed that they knew the content area at the end of the course. 
Conclusions: The emergence of web-based teaching in respiratory care demands that educators investigate and use different approaches in the teaching of this hands-on craft. In this small sample, student knowledge and participation were enhanced through the use of videotaped problem-based exercises and analysis of student learning style using the VARK.

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