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Development of an aptitude test that measures language and visual-spatial abilities to identify potential academic vulnerability of students in anatomy

dc.contributor.advisorLouw, Alwyn Jacobus Nicolaasen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorHumphries, Petroen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Centre for Health professions educationen_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2017-01-24T12:05:13Z
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-29T11:34:42Z
dc.date.available2017-01-24T12:05:13Z
dc.date.available2017-03-29T11:34:42Z
dc.date.issued2017-03
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100819
dc.descriptionThesis (MPhil)-- Stellenbosch University, 2017.
dc.description.abstractENGLISH SUMMARY : Students first entering the university, struggle not only with the culture, but more importantly with studying in a language that is not their first / home language. Students at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) come from areas where they had little or no prior exposure to the ancient European languages, from which all medical terms are derived. It has been my experience that the students do not only have to understand the new Anatomy language, but they also require the ability to transfer what they learn in two dimensions from their prescribed textbooks, to what they see in the dissection hall. It is my belief that students in the Anatomy Department at SMU, struggle with both the English language and with visualising and orientation of anatomical structures in space. This could be a serious stumbling block when attempting to grasp Anatomy as a subject. It is therefore important to ascertain to which extent these two factors play a role in academic success, and whether it could lead to being academically vulnerable in Anatomy. The aim of this study was three-fold. Firstly, to determine whether an internally developed aptitude test can be utilised to determine the language- and visual-spatial abilities of Anatomy students and thus predict academic vulnerability. The second aim was to determine the validity and internal consistency of the aptitude test. Lastly, the study aimed to determine whether there was any correlation between the results of the aptitude test and the first test in Anatomy. The aptitude test consisted of a section that tested language abilities (paragraph construction; sentence construction; comprehension; spelling, antonyms, synonyms and homophones; word relationships) and a section that tested visual-spatial skill (spatial ability; anatomical mental rotation; cause and effect). The results indicate that the aptitude test had the ability to distinguish which language- and visual-spatial abilities the students had difficulty in performing. Results indicated that students had trouble in writing a paragraph, as well as with the comprehension section of the test. Students did not seem to have difficulty in spelling of medically related words. Overall, the students performed better in the visual-spatial section of the test, than in the language section of the test. About thirty percent of students had difficulty in mentally rotating anatomical structures and in predicting the outcomes of nerve lesions and muscle attachments. The aptitude test had good content and predictive validity. The test also had a degree of internal consistency. No positive correlation could be made between the aptitude test and the first Anatomy test. In conclusion, answering essay type questions might be difficult for students. They might also struggle with drawing inferences from theory text and from pictures. Students are not supposed to have trouble in transferring knowledge between theory and spot test. However, they struggle with this and more research is needed into this phenomenon. The discrimination and difficulty indices and internal consistency indicated that the test requires some adaptation before its use in future, to accurately predict academic vulnerability.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Studente wat die eerste keer universiteit toe gaan, sukkel nie net met die nuwe kultuur nie, maar belangriker as dit, sukkel hulle ook omdat hulle in ‘n taal moet studeer wat nie hulle eerste / huistaal is nie. Studente by Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) kom van gebiede af waar hulle min tot geen blootstelling gehad het met antieke Europese tale, waarvan alle mediese terme afstam. Dit is my ervaring dat die studente nie net die nuwe Anatomiese taal moet verstaan nie, maar hulle moet ook die vermoe besit om wat hulle in twee dimensies in hulle voorgeskrewe handboeke sien, oor te kan dra na wat hulle in die disseksiesaal sien. Ek glo dat studente in die Anatomie Departement by SMU, sukkel met beide Engels en met die visualisering en orientering van anatomiese strukture in ruimte. Dit kan ‘n ernstige struikelblok wees om Anatomie as vak te probeer bemeester. Dit is daarom belangrik om te bepaal tot watter mate die twee faktore ‘n rol speel in akademiese sukses, en of dit daartoe kan lei dat ‘n student akademies kwesbaar is in Anatomie. Die doel van die studie was drieledig. Eerstens, om te bepaal of ‘n interne ontwerpte aanlegtoets gebruik kan word om die taal- en visueel-ruimtelike vermoens van ‘n Anatomie student te bepaal en so die akademiese kwesbaarheid te voorspel. Die tweede doel was om die geldigheid en interne konsekwentheid van die aanlegtoets te bepaal. Ten laaste was die doel om te bepaal of daar enige korrelasie was tussen die resultate van die aanlegtoets en die eerste toets in Anatomie. Die aanlegtoets het bestaan uit ‘n afdeling wat taalvermoens (paragraafkonstruksie; sinskonstruksie; begrip; spelling, antonieme, sinonieme en homofone; woord verhoudings) en ‘n afdeling wat visueel-ruimtelike vaardighede (ruimtelike vaardigheid; anatomiese verstandelike rotasie; oorsaak en gevolg) bepaal. Die resultate toon dat die aanlegtoets die vermoe besit om tussen taal- en visueel-ruimtelike vermoens, veral die dele waarin die student gesukkel het, te kan onderskei. Resultate het ook aangetoon dat student gesukkel het met die saamstel van ‘n paragraaf, asook met die begripsdeel van die toets. Dit wou voorkom asof die studente nie sukkel met die spel van medies verwante woorde nie. In geheel het studente beter gevaar in die visueel-ruimtelike gedeelte van die toets as in die taalgedeelte van die toets. Dertig present van studente het gesukkel in die anatomiese vestandelike rotasie afdeling van die toets. Dit was ook die geval in die voorspelling van die uitkoms van senuweeletsels en spieraanhegtings. Die aanlegtoets het goeie inhouds- en kriteriageldigheid gehad. Die toets het ook ‘n mate van interne sekerheid gehad. Geen positiewe korrelasie kon gemaak word tussen die aanlegtoets en die eerste Anatomietoets nie. Die volgende gevolgtrekking kan dus gemaak word: die beantwoording van lang-tipe vrae blyk moeilik te wees vir studente en hulle mag dalk sukkel om afleidings te maak vanaf teorie teks en van prentjies. Studente is nie veronderstel om moeilikheid te ondervind om kennis tussen teorie en praktiese toetse oor te dra nie, hoewel dit wel die geval is. Hierdie verskynsel verg verdere navorsing. Die diskriminasie- en moeilikheidsindekse, sowel as die interne sekerheid het aangedui dat die toets ‘n aantal veranderinge benodig voordat dit weer in die toekoms gebruik kan word. Die aanlegtoets benodig dus veranderinge in die toekoms om sodoende akademiese kwesbaarheid akkuraat te voorspel.af_ZA
dc.format.extentxii, 86 pages ; illustrations, includes annexures
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subjectAbility -- Testingen_ZA
dc.subjectSpatial abilityen_ZA
dc.subjectAcademic vulnerabilityen_ZA
dc.subjectLanguage and languagesen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTD
dc.titleDevelopment of an aptitude test that measures language and visual-spatial abilities to identify potential academic vulnerability of students in anatomyen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch University


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