Today’s students have increased expectations for flexible learning options and evidence-based practice resources to be available to support curricular activities. We investigated: (i) the suitability of a static website for teaching ocular anatomy and physiology and an interactive version of the website with quiz and self-assessment activities and (ii) the usefulness of a blended online and in-lab environment to teach in Optometry. We administered a survey to compare responses of optometry students who had access to the interactive website, with those from students from a previous year who used the static version. We examined learning preferences of students in a focus group. Students were positive about the value of the website for their learning and the clarity of the website content. Nevertheless, objective comparison of pass rates for students using the static and interactive websites did not show significant changes. The majority of students commenting on the static website felt they did not get sufficient feedback via the website (67%) compared with only 22% from students who used self-assessments in the interactive website. Interestingly, users of the static website commented that it was perceived as just another resource while users of the interactive website commented on the usefulness of the material to review knowledge before laboratories. In the focus group, students reported they preferred a blended learning over the website alone even by students using the interactive website as they felt the need to revise content with the educator before the test. We conclude that there is acceptance of online learning methods due to the technologically ‘savvy’ environment of students in the first year of the Optometry programme but there is still dependence on the educator as the main administrator of their learning.
Acosta, M., Sisley, A., Ross, J., Brailsford, I., Jacobs, R. J., & ANSTICE, N. (2018). Student acceptance of e-learning methods in the laboratory class in Optometry. PLoS One, 13(12), 1-10. [e0209004]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209004