Objective: This study aimed to examine the effect of active learning strategies using analogical models versus didactic lectures on student learning of spinal anatomy and biomechanics.
Methods: Students enrolled into year 1 of a chiropractic program in 2014 and 2015 were eligible to participate. The 2014 cohort received didactic lectures. Active learning approaches using analogical models were incorporated into the 2015 cohort. Both groups received an identical written assessment at the end of the 3rd lecture. Between-group differences in age and written assessment percentages were analyzed using independent t tests.
Results: Fifty-nine students from the 2014 cohort and 62 students from the 2015 cohort took part. There were no significant differences in age or gender between the cohorts. The differences in the mean of the written assessment percentages between the didactic group and the analogical models group were significant (p = .00), with a mean difference of 22.6% (95% CI, 17.4–27.9). The didactic group mean percentage was 37.9% (SD 15.8) and was within a fail percentage bracket. The analogical models group mean percentage was 60.6% (SD 13.1) and within a pass percentage bracket.
Conclusion: The analogical models group performed significantly better than the didactic lecture group, particularly with regard to content delivered using literal or surface analogies.
Author keywords: Teaching Methods, Active Learning, Anatomy, Biomechanics, Chiropractic
Author affiliation: School of Chiropractic, AECC University College, Bournemouth, UK
Corresponding author: JR—firstname.lastname@example.org
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