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Title: The dynamics of learning of physiotherapy students from non-national backgrounds
Author: Morris, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 0583
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This longitudinal, qualitative study explored the learning experiences of physiotherapy students from non-traditional backgrounds undertaking an innovative part-time programme. Non-traditional characteristics included maturity, prior and ongoing employment as physiotherapy assistants and weaker academic backgrounds. The phenomenographic methodology followed is an approach associated with research into student learning. Seventeen students in the 2000 cohort participated in five semi-structured interviews undertaken at intervals across the four-year programme. Topic areas which research has identified as influencing students' learning and learning outcomes were explored at each stage of the study relative to experiences in the preceding time period. These included motivational factors, curriculum design and delivery, learning and assessment experiences in academic and clinical settings, and perceptions of the concepts of learning, understanding and memorisation. Verbatim transcriptions of interview tape recordings were coded manually and an iterative process followed to identify discreet categories of description which, together, captured the full range of responses on the topics addressed at each set of interviews. To identify temporal changes, the number of responses associated with each category, and for each student, was recorded. A rich picture of the experiences, attitudes and behaviours of participants was found. The findings identified that they strove for achievement of the high quality learning outcomes necessary for effective clinical practice and lifelong learning. Students' life experiences and high levels of motivation were important learning resources. Although some aspects of the programme were challenging, the participants' weaker academic backgrounds did not prevent them from successfully meeting the requirements of higher education. Feedback on the design and delivery of the programme was also positive. Temporal stability around conceptual perceptions was found. Further research into the learning experiences and behaviours of physiotherapy students from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds is needed, as is more longitudinal research into student learning in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available