Contact: Alison Canty
Student perceptions of online dementia education designed for diverse student cohorts
First offered in 2012, the Bachelor of Dementia Care is a fully online degree that attracts thousands of students nationwide. Front-loaded with skill building units to suit mature aged students who may not have been in formal learning for some time, this degree seeks to develop specialist knowledge of dementia to optimise care. Online units in this degree are regularly highly ranked by students in terms of percentage agreement in end of semester eVALUate surveys.
We analysed the percentage agreement scores from unit eVALUates in 16 core units offered in Semester 1, 2019; and performed a course-wide thematic analysis of anonymous student responses to the questions ‘What are the most helpful aspects of this unit?’ and ‘How do you think this unit might be improved?’
Preliminary analysis identified an average agreement of 95% in 16 core units across four levels (foundation/100/200/300), with a noticeable agreement ‘dip’ of 5% as students undertake 200 level units, rising to 96% for students who continue in 300 level units. Qualitative analysis of eVALUate comments identifies three themes of ‘communication & support’, ‘content & design’ and ‘learning activities & resources’ as the most helpful aspects across the units which is in agreement with identified staff themes.
This project seeks to explore the critical factors that contribute to this high level of agreement in core units of the Bachelor of Dementia Care, and to determine which aspects could be improved.
Exploring high student agreement at a course level in a fully online bachelor degree, Teaching Matters conference presentation, University of Tasmania, 2020.