Exploration of creative learning opportunities, through an innovative student-centred podcasting pedagogy


Lillico, Christopher (2022) Exploration of creative learning opportunities, through an innovative student-centred podcasting pedagogy. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


While anatomy and physiology (A & P) form foundational knowledge for several undergraduate health courses, many find the topic content-dense and challenging to learn (Munns, 2013). Moreover, it has been reported that modern students enjoy collaboration, are creative, are proficient with technology (Roberts et al., 2012), and prefer active-learning opportunities. Active learning also improves understanding and reduces failure rates (Freeman et al., 2014). Considering this, substantial effort was given to create an innovative, blended active-learning pedagogy using creativity and technology to support the learning of physiology. Student teams were immersed in a creative game-based scenario, a narrative titled “Uni-Apocalypse”, and were required to create “PodPoints” (Podcast-PowerPoints). These conveyed key physiology principles to construct a fictional “super-soldier” to save them from the Zombie apocalypse. 142 undergraduate students undertaking RBM1518 Human Physiology 1 Unit in 2019 participated and outcome results pertaining to assessment performance were compared with similar cohorts for the previous year (n = 167). Intervention effectiveness was assessed by comparing test results for 2019 and 2018 (no PodPoint use) and qualitative feedback. Statistical analysis (t-tests, P < .05) found no significant difference between the test scores for the two cohorts, however, a significant difference was seen in test scores for students doing well with PodPoints within their cohort. Notably, participation in the team PodPoint topics positively influenced whether students attempted the short answer questions (SAQs) of the final test and the results of them. The average SAQ topic scores that related to the students covering the PodPoint topics, were all greater than the mean class SAQ scores for all students not covering the PodPoint topics, with three of these being statistically significant (P < .05). Qualitative data was collected by surveys, questionnaires, and individual or small group interviews and underwent thematic analysis. Supportive student feedback was given across several constructs, including satisfaction, learning, collaboration, creativity, engagement, and technology. Triangulation of data corroborated the primary findings that the novel learning and assessment intervention had positively affected learning, student engagement, and creativity. As a first of its kind, the pilot delivery of this teaching and learning innovation has returned positive results warranting its application. Its ongoing use beyond the study period has continued to provide a beneficial learning experience and supports an evolving educational landscape.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/45925
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3904 Specialist studies in education
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords teaching; technology; creativity; learning; student-centered learning; active learning; physiology; podcast; PowerPoint; gamification; pedagogy; undergraduate students; Victoria University
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