Evaluation of A Journal Based Learning Programme to Support Personal Professional Development

Michael BOTELHO
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
botelho@hkucc.hku.hk

Edward CM LO
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
hrdplcm@hku.hk

Susan BRIDGES
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
sbridges@hku.hk

Colman MCGRATH
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
mcgrathc@hkucc.hku.hk

Cynthia KY YIU
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
ckyyiu@hku.hk

Abstract

Objective:
To evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative journal-based learning (JBL) programme and equip students with skills necessary to use evidence based information to support personal professional development.

Materials and Methods:
A baseline evaluation was administered to 52 final year students. An introductory lecture was given about principles of research and types of publications and their structure. Learning outcomes for the JBL programme were disseminated to students at the start of the course. 11 weekly, small-group (7-9 students), seminars (2-3 hours) were then conducted by content experts using a reading list of 2-5 journal articles. Guidance questions for each paper were used to focus students reading and learning prior to the seminar. Answers to these were included in the tutor notes to ensure standardized feedback during the seminar. An exit-test on research terminologies and principles was conducted including 4 repeated questions from the baseline. A systematic marking scheme was used. Quantitative results were analysed and a focus group was conducted for gathering students’ views and experience on the JBL programme.

Results:
A significant improvement in the repeated questions was observed from baseline (3.5) compared to exit test (11.5) (p < 0.001). Students revealed they had positive experiences about the programme learning new skills and information about: journal classification, evidence level determination, research terms and the structure of research papers, the development of critical appraisal skills and an insight to what post-graduate studies might be like.

Conclusions:
This JBL programme afforded students skills necessary to determine evidence based practice for their continuing professional development.

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