The Experience of Implementing an Interprofessional First Year Course for Undergraduate Health Science Students: The Value of Acting on Student Feedback

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Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, Vol: 7, Issue: 1, Page: 5

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Surjan, Yolanda; Chiarelli, Pauline; Dempsey, Shane; Lyall, David; O'Toole, Gjyn; Snodgrass, Suzanne; Tessier, John
First year experience; student feedback; interprofessional; Teaching & Learning
article description
This paper reports on the experiences gathered as a result of the foundation, implementation and on-going development of an interprofessional course for undergraduate health science students in The School of Health Sciences (SHS) at The University of Newcastle. The purpose of the course was to provide commencing students (n=600) with a transitional period, inclusive of academic, social and administrative support. The course also provided fundamental health related content relevant to all health science professions. Data in the form of student evaluations was collected over the three years of implementation through questionnaires, focus groups, university based student evaluations and unsolicited student feedback. A feedback loop was implemented annually and evaluations of the data applied upon reflection of student perceptions of the course. Findings suggest that despite some initial difficulties, the majority of students reported the provision of basic course and program specific information coupled with course coordinator support through immediate responses to questions assisted them to reduce their initial first year experience anxieties. Furthermore, students suggested that the student-centred changes made within this course be applied to other university courses. In conclusion, it is evident that the value of student feedback and the implementation of adaptations and rigorous change as a result of the feedback is highly significant in the improvement of courses and the ultimate satisfaction of student cohorts.