Browsing by Author "Van Schalkwyk, Susan"
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- ItemAcademic literacy revisited : a space for emerging postgraduate voices(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2016) Van Schalkwyk, SusanSUMMARY : Few would challenge the notion that postgraduate studies, particularly at doctoral level, should make a contribution to the body of knowledge. Such contribution is typically the product of several years of academic endeavour characterized by a process of ‘being and becoming’ a scholar (Van Schalkwyk 2014). The doctoral journey has, however, been described as one that is fraught with uncertainty and ambiguity, and that is intricate and multi-facetted (Green 2005; Jazvac‐Martek 2009). In addition, Barnett (2009: 431) has suggested that in today’s complex and unpredictable, technology-driven world we require a “wider form of human being” than ever before. It is in this complex space that the postgraduate academic project is situated, requiring the construction of a meaningful, intellectual work such that the graduate is able to take a stand and make her voice heard. Aligned to this thinking is the tacit assumption that engagement in postgraduate studies will facilitate the acquisition of academic literacy and entry into the disciplinary discourse or community of practice within which the academic work has been undertaken. In so doing, the graduate will become recognized as a scholar in the field.
- ItemBuilding a research agenda in health professions education at a Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences : current research profile and future considerations(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-10) Bezuidenhout, Juanita; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Van Heerden, Ben; De Villiers, MarietjieBackground. To generate evidence in and for health professions education (HPE) that can enable reform and establish new relevance, a comprehensive HPE research foundation is required. Gaps identified in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) HPE literature should be addressed, while a need for more clarificatory and collaborative research to strengthen evidence has been expressed. Relatively few HPE centres exist in SSA. At Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) the Centre for HPE was established in 2006, followed by an HPE Research Unit in 2011. Objectives. To determine and analyse the current status of educational research in the FMHS, thereby contributing to conversations around an HPE research agenda for Africa. Methods. A database of all HPE-related research was compiled, followed by a desktop analysis of all documents pertaining to current educational research projects in the FMHS in 2012, categorising projects according to: general information; sites where research was conducted; research focus; and research purpose. All data were recorded in an Excel spreadsheet and a descriptive analysis was performed. Results. There were 106 projects, mostly aimed at undergraduate programmes. More than half focused on teaching and learning, while a few focused on assessment. A number of projects were community-based or involved national and/or international collaborations. Only 20% of projects were classified as clarification research. Discussion. Educational research appears healthy in the FMHS, but more clarificatory and macro-projects are required. The profile of research is similar to the SSA profile. A research strategy relevant and feasible in our context has to be established with a shift to areas beyond our professional/ institutional boundaries, posing HPE questions of relevance to South Africa and the African continent.
- ItemCollaborative research in contexts of inequality : the role of social reflexivity(Springer Verlag, 2017) Brenda, Leibowitz; Bozalek, Vivienne; Farmer, Jean; Garraway, James; Herman, Nicoline; Jawitz, Jeff; McMillan, Wendy; Mistri, Gita; Ndebele, Clever; Nkonki, Vuyisile; Quinn, Lynn; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Vorster, Jo-Anne; Winberg, ChrisThis article reports on the role and value of social reflexivity in collaborative research in contexts of extreme inequality. Social reflexivity mediates the enablements and constraints generated by the internal and external contextual conditions impinging on the research collaboration. It fosters the ability of participants in a collaborative project to align their interests and collectively extend their agency towards a common purpose. It influences the productivity and quality of learning outcomes of the research collaboration. The article is written by 14 members of a larger research team, which comprised 18 individuals working within the academic development environment in eight South African universities. The overarching research project investigated the participation of academics in professional development activities, and how contextual, ie. structural and cultural, and agential conditions influence this participation. For this sub-study on the experience of the collaboration by 14 of the researchers, we wrote reflective pieces on our own experience of participating in the project towards the end of the third year of its duration. We discuss the structural and cultural conditions external to and internal to the project, and how the social reflexivity of the participants mediated these conditions. We conclude with the observation that policy injunctions and support from funding agencies for collaborative research, as well as support from participants’ home institutions, are necessary for the flourishing of collaborative research, but that the commitment by individual participants to participate, learn and share, is also necessary.
- ItemConsequences, conditions and caveats : a qualitative exploration of the influence of undergraduate health professions students at distributed clinical training sites(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2018-12-19) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Blitz, Julia; Couper, Ian; De Villiers, Marietjie; Lourens, Guin; Muller, Jana; Van Heerden, BenBackground: Traditionally, the clinical training of health professionals has been located in central academic hospitals. This is changing. As academic institutions explore ways to produce a health workforce that meets the needs of both the health system and the communities it serves, the placement of students in these communities is becoming increasingly common. While there is a growing literature on the student experience at such distributed sites, we know less about how the presence of students influences the site itself. We therefore set out to elicit insights from key role-players at a number of distributed health service-based training sites about the contribution that students make and the influence their presence has on that site. Methods: This interpretivist study analysed qualitative data generated during twenty-four semi-structured interviews with facility managers, clinical supervisors and other clinicians working at eight distributed sites. A sampling grid was used to select sites that proportionally represented location, level of care and mix of health professions students. Transcribed data were subjected to thematic analysis. Following an iterative process, initial analyses and code lists were discussed and compared between team members after which the data were coded systematically across the entire data set. Results: The clustering and categorising of codes led to the generation of three over-arching themes: influence on the facility (culturally and materially); on patient care and community (contribution to service; improved patient outcomes); and on supervisors (enriched work experience, attitude towards teaching role). A subsequent stratified analysis of emergent events identified some consequences of taking clinical training to distributed sites. These consequences occurred when certain conditions were present. Further critical reflection pointed to a set of caveats that modulated the nature of these conditions, emphasising the complexity inherent in this context. Conclusions: The move towards training health professions students at distributed sites potentially offers many affordances for the facilities where the training takes places, for those responsible for student supervision, and for the patients and communities that these facilities serve. In establishing and maintaining relationships with the facilities, academic institutions will need to be mindful of the conditions and caveats that can influence these affordances.
- ItemDecentralised training for medical students : a scoping review(BioMed Central, 2017-11-09) De Villiers, Marietjie; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Blitz, Julia; Couper, Ian; Moodley, Kalavani; Talib, Zohray; Young, TarynBackground: Increasingly, medical students are trained at sites away from the tertiary academic health centre. A growing body of literature identifies the benefits of decentralised clinical training for students, the health services and the community. A scoping review was done to identify approaches to decentralised training, how these have been implemented and what the outcomes of these approaches have been in an effort to provide a knowledge base towards developing a model for decentralised training for undergraduate medical students in lower and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: Using a comprehensive search strategy, the following databases were searched, namely EBSCO Host, ERIC, HRH Global Resources, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and WHO Repository, generating 3383 references. The review team identified 288 key additional records from other sources. Using prespecified eligibility criteria, the publications were screened through several rounds. Variables for the data-charting process were developed, and the data were entered into a custom-made online Smartsheet database. The data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. Results: One hundred and five articles were included. Terminology most commonly used to describe decentralised training included ‘rural’, ‘community based’ and ‘longitudinal rural’. The publications largely originated from Australia, the United States of America (USA), Canada and South Africa. Fifty-five percent described decentralised training rotations for periods of more than six months. Thematic analysis of the literature on practice in decentralised medical training identified four themes, each with a number of subthemes. These themes were student learning, the training environment, the role of the community, and leadership and governance. Conclusions: Evident from our findings are the multiplicity and interconnectedness of factors that characterise approaches to decentralised training. The student experience is nested within a particular context that is framed by the leadership and governance that direct it, and the site and the community in which the training is happening. Each decentralised site is seen to have its own dynamic that may foreground certain elements, responding differently to enabling student learning and influencing the student experience. The insights that have been established through this review have relevance in informing the further expansion of decentralised clinical training, including in LMIC contexts.
- ItemDecentralised training for medical students : towards a South African consensus(AOSIS publishing, 2017-09) De Villiers, Marietjie R.; Blitz, Julia; Couper, Ian; Kent, Athol; Moodley, Kalavani; Talib, Zohray; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Young, TarynIntroduction: Health professions training institutions are challenged to produce greater numbers of graduates who are more relevantly trained to provide quality healthcare. Decentralised training offers opportunities to address these quantity, quality and relevance factors. We wanted to draw together existing expertise in decentralised training for the benefit of all health professionals to develop a model for decentralised training for health professions students. Method: An expert panel workshop was held in October 2015 initiating a process to develop a model for decentralised training in South Africa. Presentations on the status quo in decentralised training at all nine medical schools in South Africa were made and 33 delegates engaged in discussing potential models for decentralised training. Results: Five factors were found to be crucial for the success of decentralised training, namely the availability of information and communication technology, longitudinal continuous rotations, a focus on primary care, the alignment of medical schools’ mission with decentralised training and responsiveness to student needs. Conclusion: The workshop concluded that training institutions should continue to work together towards formulating decentralised training models and that the involvement of all health professions should be ensured. A tripartite approach between the universities, the Department of Health and the relevant local communities is important in decentralised training. Lastly, curricula should place more emphasis on how students learn rather than how they are taught.
- ItemDesigning faculty development : lessons learnt from a qualitative interpretivist study exploring students’ expectations and experiences of clinical teaching(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019) Blitz, Julia; De Villiers, Marietjie; Van Schalkwyk, SusanBackground: Clinical teaching plays a crucial role in the transition of medical students into the world of professional practice. Faculty development initiatives contribute to strengthening clinicians’ approach to teaching. In order to inform the design of such initiatives, we thought that it would be useful to discover how senior medical students’ experience of clinical teaching may impact on how learning during clinical training might be strengthened. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using convenience sampling of medical students in the final two months of study before qualifying. Three semi-structured focus group discussions were held with a total of 23 students. Transcripts were analysed from an interpretivist stance, looking for underlying meanings. The resultant themes revealed a tension between the students’ expectations and experience of clinical teaching. We returned to our data looking for how students had responded to these tensions. Results: Students saw clinical rotations as having the potential for them to apply their knowledge and test their procedural abilities in the environment where their professional practice and identity will develop. They expected engagement in the clinical workplace. However, their descriptions were of tensions between prior expectations and actual experiences in the environment. They appreciated that learning required them to move out of their “comfort zone”, but seemed to persist in the idea of being recipients of teaching rather than becoming directors of their own learning. Students seem to need help in participating in the clinical setting, understanding how this participation will construct the knowledge and skills required as they join the workplace. Students did not have a strong sense of agency to negotiate participation in the clinical workplace. Conclusions: There is the potential for clinicians to assist students in adapting their way of learning from the largely structured classroom based learning of theoretical knowledge, to the more experiential informal workplacebased learning of practice. This suggests that faculty developers could broaden their menu of offerings to clinicians by intentionally incorporating ways not only of offering students affordances in the clinical learning environment, but also of attending to the development of students’ agentic capability to engage with those affordances offered.
- ItemEffective or just practical? : an evaluation of an online postgraduate module on evidence-based medicine (EBM)(BioMed Central, 2013-05) Rohwer, Anke; Young, Taryn; Van Schalkwyk, SusanTeaching the steps of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to undergraduate as well as postgraduate health care professionals is crucial for implementation of effective, beneficial health care practices and abandonment of ineffective, harmful ones. Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, offers a 12-week, completely online module on EBM within the Family Medicine division, to medical specialists in their first year of training. The aim of this study was to formatively evaluate this module; assessing both the mode of delivery; as well as the perceived effectiveness and usefulness thereof. Methods We used mixed methods to evaluate this module: A document review to assess whether the content of the module reflects important EBM competencies; a survey of the students to determine their experiences of the module; and semi-structured interviews with the tutors to explore their perspectives of the module. Ethics approval was obtained. Results The document review indicated that EBM competencies were covered adequately, although critical appraisal only focused on randomised controlled trials and guidelines. Students had a positive attitude towards the module, but felt that they needed more support from the tutors. Tutors felt that students engaged actively in discussions, but experienced difficulties with understanding certain concepts of EBM. Furthermore, they felt that it was challenging explaining these via the online learning platform and saw the need to incorporate more advanced technology to better connect with the students. In their view the key to successful learning of EBM was to keep it relevant and applicable to everyday practice. Tutors also felt that an online module on EBM was advantageous, since doctors from all over the world were able to participate. Conclusion Our study has shown that the online module on EBM was effective in increasing EBM knowledge and skills of postgraduate students and was well received by both students and tutors. Students and tutors experienced generic challenges that accompany any educational intervention of EBM (e.g. understanding difficult concepts), but in addition had to deal with challenges unique to the online learning environment. Teachers of EBM should acknowledge these so as to enhance and successfully implement EBM teaching and learning for all students.
- ItemEvolving doctoral identities : understanding ‘complex investments’(SUN PRESS, 2014) Van Schalkwyk, SusanENGLISH SUMMARY : The metaphor of a journey is often applied to doctoral studies. This journey is characterised by a sense of ‘being and becoming’ that accompanies the emergence of a candidate’s doctoral identity (Green 2005; see also Barnett & Di Napoli 2008). Many students experience this process of identity formation as complex and multifaceted, influenced by individual realities and social contexts (Jazvac-Martek 2009), and fraught with tension and uncertainty (Green 2005). This change in identity is seldom gradual. Often it is marked by moments of dissonance and crisis that lead students to places of change and growth (Di Napoli & Barnett 2008; Jarvis-Selinger, Pratt & Regehr 2012). The doctoral student is expected not only to engage in the process of knowledge acquisition and creation, but to also navigate the developmental journey towards doctorateness (Frick 2011; Trafford & Leshem 2009). Although there is a growing body of research in the field of doctoral education, there remains a need for studies that seek to understand how the identity of the doctoral candidate evolves during the time of study, and why this rite of passage (Andresen 2000) occurs the way it does (Green 2005; Jazvac-Martek 2009). Knowledge about the lived, dayto-day experience of a doctoral candidate is scant. The relationship between student and supervisor is often shrouded in secrecy representing a ‘bounded’ space that is seldom opened up to scrutiny from the outside. Following on Jazvac-Martek (2009), I argue that drawing on constructs such as identity, and the development thereof, offers a useful lens through which the doctoral experience can be explored.
- ItemA framework for distributed health professions training : using participatory action research to build consensus(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-05-14) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Couper, Ian D.; Blitz, Julia; De Villiers, Marietjie R.Background: There is a global trend towards providing training for health professions students outside of tertiary academic complexes. In many countries, this shift places pressure on available sites and the resources at their disposal, specifically within the public health sector. Introducing an educational remit into a complex health system is challenging, requiring commitment from a range of stakeholders, including national authorities. To facilitate the effective implementation of distributed training, we developed a guiding framework through an extensive, national consultative process with a view to informing both practice and policy. Methods: We adopted a participatory action research approach over a four year period across three phases, which included seven local, provincial and national consultative workshops, reflective work sessions by the research team, and expert reviews. Approximately 240 people participated in these activities. Engagement with the national department of health and health professions council further informed the development of the Framework. Results: Each successive ‘feedback loop’ contributed to the development of the Framework which comprised a set of guiding principles, as well as the components essential to the effective implementation of distributed training. Analysis further pointed to the centrality of relationships, while emphasising the importance of involving all sectors relevant to the training of health professionals. A tool to facilitate the implementation of the Framework was also developed, incorporating a set of ‘Simple Rules for Effective distributed health professions training’. A national consensus statement was adopted. Conclusions: In this project, we drew on the thinking and practices of key stakeholders to enable a synthesis between their embodied and inscribed knowledge, and the prevailing literature, this with a view to further enaction as the knowledge generators become knowledge users. The Framework and its subsequent implementation has not only assisted us to apply the evidence to our educational practice, but also to begin to influence policy at a national level.
- ItemGraduate attributes for the public good : a case of a research-led university(SUN MeDIA, 2012) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Herman, Nicoline; Muller, AndreENGLISH SUMMARY : Hall (chapter two) and Walker (chapter six) stress the distinction between higher education as a private asset and as a public good. Previously, Walker (2002:43) argued strongly that universities have a role to play in the promotion of democracy and in inculcating the sort of ‘cultural capital, values and knowledge’ in its graduates that will contribute to a more just and equitable society. This debate is tightly linked to a growing focus on the nature of the attributes students leave university with, including how these attributes will equip graduates for future employment (Barrie, 2007:439). In South Africa the need for graduates who will be able to participate in growing the national economy was emphasised in the National Plan in Higher Education some ten years ago now (DoE, 2001). More recent mandates emanating from the Department of Higher Education and Training – for example the guidelines provided for aligning programmes with the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF) – have also included issues of citizenship and social justice (Government Gazette no 30353 2007).
- ItemImplications for faculty development for emerging clinical teachers at distributed sites : a qualitative interpretivist study(James Cook University, 2018) Blitz, Julia; De Villiers, Marietjie; Van Schalkwyk, SusanIntroduction : Medical faculties have the responsibility to graduate competent health professionals and a consequent obligation to assure the quality and effectiveness of their students’ clinical teaching. Many institutions are responding to rural workforce needs by extending clinical training from the traditional academic teaching hospital to include rural and remote sites distributed away from the central training institution. It is incumbent upon medical schools to consider how this might impact on the faculty development of these clinicians as teachers. The research reported here sought to develop an understanding of how clinicians working at distant resource-constrained and new training sites view their early experiences of having been delegated the task of clinical teaching. This was with a view to informing the development of initiatives that could strengthen their role as teachers. Methods: Qualitative research using an interpretive approach was used to reach an understanding of the views and subjective experiences of clinicians taking on the role of clinical teaching. Participants were emerging clinical teachers at distant peri-urban, rural and remote sites in South Africa. They were deemed to be emerging by virtue of either having recently taken on the role of clinical teacher, or working at sites newly used for clinical teaching. In-depth interviews were conducted with all nine clinicians meeting these criteria. The interviews were coded inductively looking for underlying meanings, which were then grouped into categories. Results: The findings clustered into three inter-related themes: relationships, responsibilities and resources. The clinicians take pleasure in developing learning relationships that enable students to have a good experience by participating actively in the clinical environment, value what students bring from the medical school in terms of clinical advances and different perspectives, and in the contribution that they feel they are making to creating a more appropriately trained future healthcare workforce. However, they yearn for a closer relationship with the medical school, which they think could acknowledge the contributions they make, while also offering opportunities for them to become more effective clinical teachers. They also feel that they have a role to play in both curriculum re-alignment and student evaluation. These clinicians felt that the medical school has a responsibility to let them know if they are doing ‘the right thing’ as clinical teachers. Interestingly, these participants see trusted clinical colleagues and mentors as a resource when needing advice or mentorship concerning clinical teaching. Conclusion: This study adds to an understanding around designing faculty development initiatives that meet the needs of clinicians at distant sites that take on the role of clinical teaching. There remains the need to impart particular strategies to support the learning of particular kinds of knowledge that is commonly dealt with in faculty development. However, there may be an additional need for faculty developers to embrace what is known about rural doctor social learning systems by overtly designing for incorporation of the foundational three Rs: relationships, responsibilities and resources.
- ItemThe influence of context on the teaching and learning of undergraduate nursing students: A scoping review(2020-10) Meyer, Rhoda; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Archer, ElizeBACKGROUND. The role that context plays in the teaching and learning space has been well documented.OBJECTIVES. To synthesise perspectives from previous studies related to the influence of context on teaching and learning among undergraduate nursing students.METHODS. This study was guided by the stages for review proposed by Arksey and O'Malley. Six databases were searched, generating 1 164 articles. Based on the eligibility criteria, the articles were screened through several processes, resulting in 55 articles being included in the final review.RESULTS. Five themes were identified, including the organisational space, the nature of interactions in the healthcare team, the role of the nurse manager, the role of the educator and the academic institution-hospital engagement.CONCLUSION. While there are many studies of the role of context in teaching and learning, this review highlights the interconnectedness of the various factors within the learning context, providing a framework that can inform decision-making when seeking to enhance teaching and learning in nursing education.
- ItemIntroduction: Perspectives on the first-year experience(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Leibowitz, Brenda; Van der Merwe, AntoinetteThe international focus on the first-year experience (FYE) represents a strong and well-established movement in higher education. A focus on what happens in the first year at university, and how this influences student success, has become a fixture on the higher education landscape. In 2009, the annual International Conference on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition was held for the 29th time. Through the years, its main sponsoring partner, the National Resource Center at the University of South Carolina, has been instrumental in establishing the movement world-wide.
- ItemOn borders, boundaries and being a chameleon : metaphors for reframing the academic project(2017-09) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Heyns, Tania; Centre for Health Professions EducationAcademia is a strange place – particularly for those looking in from the outside. Those of us who reside within its borders have created, and then perpetuated, this strangeness over decades, in some instances even over centuries, by holding to very particular ways of being and doing. This has significant implications for the academic project1 – for the teaching that is practised, for the learning that occurs, and for the research that is undertaken. It also has implications for the way in which the academic project moves forward, how it evolves or ‘moves with the times’, and responds to global, national and local imperatives. In this time of significant uncertainty and instability in higher education in South Africa, the way in which academia is positioning itself in terms of the academic project requires our urgent attention. Questions need to be asked about our entrenched practices, yes, the things we hold dear, and to consider the extent to which these might be complicit in the uncertainty and instability. We also need to ask how academia can use its considerable influence to chart a new way forward, to help reframe the way in which we think about the academic project.
- ItemPatience, persistence and pragmatism : experiences and lessons learnt from the implementation of clinically integrated teaching and learning of evidence-based health care – a qualitative study(Public Library of Science, 2015-06) Young, Taryn; Rohwer, Anke; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Volmink, Jimmy; Clarke, MikeBackground: Clinically integrated teaching and learning are regarded as the best options for improving evidence-based healthcare (EBHC) knowledge, skills and attitudes. To inform implementation of such strategies, we assessed experiences and opinions on lessons learnt of those involved in such programmes. Methods and Findings: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 EBHC programme coordinators from around the world, selected through purposive sampling. Following data transcription, a multidisciplinary group of investigators carried out analysis and data interpretation, using thematic content analysis. Successful implementation of clinically integrated teaching and learning of EBHC takes much time. Student learning needs to start in pre-clinical years with consolidation, application and assessment following in clinical years. Learning is supported through partnerships between various types of staff including the core EBHC team, clinical lecturers and clinicians working in the clinical setting. While full integration of EBHC learning into all clinical rotations is considered necessary, this was not always achieved. Critical success factors were pragmatism and readiness to use opportunities for engagement and including EBHC learning in the curriculum; patience; and a critical mass of the right teachers who have EBHC knowledge and skills and are confident in facilitating learning. Role modelling of EBHC within the clinical setting emerged as an important facilitator. The institutional context exerts an important influence; with faculty buy-in, endorsement by institutional leaders, and an EBHC-friendly culture, together with a supportive community of practice, all acting as key enablers. The most common challenges identified were lack of teaching time within the clinical curriculum, misconceptions about EBHC, resistance of staff, lack of confidence of tutors, lack of time, and negative role modelling. Conclusions: Implementing clinically integrated EBHC curricula requires institutional support, a critical mass of the right teachers and role models in the clinical setting combined with patience, persistence and pragmatism on the part of teachers.
- ItemPerceived enablers and constraints of motivation to conduct undergraduate research in a faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences : what role does choice play?(Public Library of Science, 2019) Marais, Debra Leigh; Kotlowitz, Jessica; Willems, Bart; Barsdorf, Nicola W.; Van Schalkwyk, SusanBackground: Enhancing evidence-based practice and improving locally driven research begins with fostering the research skills of undergraduate students in the medical and health sciences. Research as a core component of undergraduate curricula can be facilitated or constrained by various programmatic and institutional factors, including that of choice. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) provides a framework for understanding the influence of choice on student motivation to engage in research. Aim: This study aimed to document the enablers and constraints of undergraduate research at a South African Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) and to explore how the presence or absence of choice influenced students’ engagement with research in this context. Methods: An exploratory descriptive design was adopted. Undergraduate students who had conducted research and undergraduate programme staff were recruited through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Findings were interpreted using SDT, focusing on how choice at various levels affects motivation and influences research experiences. Results: Many of the programmatic and institutional enablers and constraints–such as time and supervisory availability–were consistent with those previously identified in the literature, regardless of whether research was compulsory or elective. Choice itself seemed to operate as both an enabler and a constraint, highlighting the complexity of choice as an influence on student motivation. SDT provided insight into how programmatic and institutional factors–and in particular choice–supported or suppressed students’ needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, thereby influencing their motivation to engage in research. Conclusion: While programmatic and institutional factors may enable or constrain undergraduate research, individual-level factors such as the influence of choice on students’ motivation play a critical role. The implication for curriculum development is that research engagement might be enhanced if levels of choice are structured into the curriculum such that students’ needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met.
- ItemPIQUE-ing an interest in curriculum renewal(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-03) Blitz, Julia; Kok, Norma; Van Heerden, Ben; Van Schalkwyk, SusanBackground. The primary aim of undergraduate medical training at South African medical schools is to prepare the graduates adequately for internship. If we are to attain this objective, it is crucial to evaluate the ability of our graduates to cope with the demands of internship. Objective. To determine the extent to which first-year interns from Stellenbosch University (SU) considered that their undergraduate education prepared them for internship. Methods. The Preparedness for Internship Questionnaire (PIQUE) is based on Hill’s Preparation for Hospital Practice Questionnaire, with additional questions covering core competencies and exit outcomes that SU has determined for its medical curriculum. Participants were asked to respond to a series of statements preceded by ‘My undergraduate medical training prepared me to … ’, and also two open-ended questions. SU’s MB ChB graduates of 2011 (N=153) were invited to participate in the online survey. Results. Although the response rate was only 37%, graduates generally thought they had been well prepared for most mainstream clinical activities. However, there were areas in which respondents considered they could have been better prepared, specifically pharmacology, medicolegal work, minor surgery and the non-clinical roles that interns encounter. Conclusion. PIQUE appears to be a useful tool that can assist with curriculum renewal by highlighting areas that graduates feel they could be better prepared for. This challenges us to identify how curricula and teaching can be adjusted accordingly.
- ItemA systematic analysis of doctoral publication trends in South Africa(ASSAf, 2020-07-29) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Mouton, J. (Johann); Redelinghuys, Herman; McKenna, SiouxIt is incumbent upon doctoral students that their work makes a substantive contribution to the field within which it is conducted. Dissemination of this work beyond the dissertation, whether whilst studying or after graduation, is necessary to ensure that the contribution does not remain largely dormant. While dissemination can take many forms, peer-reviewed journal articles are the key medium by which knowledge is shared. We aimed to establish the proportion of doctoral theses that results in journal publications by linking South African doctoral thesis metadata to journal articles authored by doctoral candidates. To effect this matching, a customised data set was created that comprised two large databases: the South African Theses Database (SATD), which documented all doctoral degrees awarded in South Africa (2005–2014), and the South African Knowledgebase (SAK), which listed all publications submitted for subsidy to the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (2005–2017). The process followed several iterations of matching and verification, including manual inspection of the data, in order to isolate only those records for which the link was established beyond doubt. Over the period under review, 47.6% of graduates, representing 22 of the 26 higher education institutions, published at least one journal article. Results further indicate increasingly higher publication rates over time. To explore whether the journal article identified was a direct product of the study, a similarity index was developed. Over 75% of records demonstrated high similarity. While the trend towards increasing publications by graduates is promising, work in this area should be ongoing.
- ItemTeaching medical students in a new rural longitudinal clerkship : opportunities and constraints(Levy Library Press, 2018) De Villiers, Marietjie; Conradie, Hoffie; Van Schalkwyk, SusanBackground: Medical schools in Africa are responding to the call to increase numbers of medical graduates by up-scaling decentralized clinical training. One approach to decentralized clinical training is the longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC), where students benefit from continuity of setting and supervision. The ability of family physician supervisors to take responsibility for the clinical training of medical students over a longer period than the usual, in addition to managing their extensive role on the district health platform, is central to the success of such training. Objective: This study investigated the teaching experiences of family physicians as clinical supervisors in a newly introduced LIC model in a rural sub-district in the Western Cape, South Africa. Method: Nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with six family physicians as part of the Stellenbosch University Rural Medical Education Partnership Initiative (SURMEPI) five-year longitudinal study. Code lists were developed inductively using Atlas.ti v7, they were compared, integrated, and categories were identified. Emerging common themes were developed. Findings: Three overarching themes emerged from the data, each containing subthemes. The rural platform was seen to be an enabling learning space for the LIC students. The family physicians’ experienced their new teaching role in the LIC as empowering, but also challenging. Lack of time for teaching and the unstructured nature of the work emerged as constraints. Despite being uncertain about the new LIC model, the family physicians felt that it was easier to manage than anticipated. Conclusion: The centrality of the rural context framed the teaching experiences of the family physicians in the new LIC, forming the pivot around which constraints and opportunities for teaching arose. The African family physician is well positioned to make an important contribution to the upscaling of decentralized medical training, but would need to be supported by academic institutions and health service managers in their teaching role.