Objective: This study aimed to determine if a written or visual teaching aid influenced learning retention when teaching a manual motor skill.
Methods: Seventy chiropractic students who had completed an upper cervical specific chiropractic technique course were evaluated for technique-specific recall before and after a review using either a visual teaching aid or a written guide. Two randomized groups reviewed original course-written guides (n = 33) or new visual teaching aids (n = 37). Repeated-measures analysis of variance and post hoc t tests compared group differences in reevaluation scores.
Results: Performance of both groups improved postintervention (F[1, 68] = 182.56, p < .001). However, the visual teaching aid group improved more than the written guide group (F[1, 68] = 4.66, p = .03). The visual teaching aid group percentage score improved by 24.4% (SD ± 12.3%, p < .01); the written guide group improved by 17.7% (SD ± 13.7%; p < .01).
Conclusion: The mean learning retention improved in both the visual and the written teaching guide groups, but there was greater improvement in the visual aid group. This study suggests that visual teaching aids may be more useful than written guides when students attempt to recall information related to learning a manual motor skill.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Learning, Mental Recall, Motor Skills, Students
Author affiliations: New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Aukland, New Zealand
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