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A Psychometric evaluation of the anatomy learning experiences questionnaire and correlations with learning outcomes

Choi-Lundberg, DL ORCID: 0000-0002-3594-8585, Williams, A-MM ORCID: 0000-0002-1545-174X and Zimitat, C ORCID: 0000-0002-9073-095X 2017 , 'A Psychometric evaluation of the anatomy learning experiences questionnaire and correlations with learning outcomes' , Anatomical Sciences Education, vol. 10, no. 6 , pp. 514-527 , doi: 10.1002/ase.1693.

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Abstract

The Anatomy Learning Experiences Questionnaire (ALEQ) was designed by Smith and Mathias to explore students' perceptions and experiences of learning anatomy. In this study, the psychometric properties of a slightly altered 34-item ALEQ (ALEQ-34) were evaluated, and correlations with learning outcomes investigated, by surveying first- and second-year undergraduate medical students; 181 usable responses were obtained (75% response rate). Psychometric analysis demonstrated overall good reliability (Cronbach's alpha of 0.85). Exploratory factor analysis yielded a 27-item, three-factor solution (ALEQ-27, Cronbach's alpha of 0.86), described as: (Factor 1) (Reversed) challenges in learning anatomy, (Factor 2) Applications and importance of anatomy, and (Factor 3) Learning in the dissection laboratory. Second-year students had somewhat greater challenges and less positive attitudes in learning anatomy than first-year students. Females reported slightly greater challenges and less confidence in learning anatomy than males. Total scores on summative gross anatomy examination questions correlated with ALEQ-27, Pearson's r = 0.222 and 0.271, in years 1 and 2, respectively, and with Factor 1, r = 0.479 and 0.317 (all statistically significant). Factor 1 also had similar correlations across different question types (multiple choice; short answer or essay; cadaveric; and anatomical models, bones, or radiological images). In a retrospective analysis, Factor 1 predicted poor end-of-semester anatomy examination results in year 1 with a sensitivity of 88% and positive predictive value of 33%. Further development of ALEQ-27 may enable deeper understanding of students' learning of anatomy, and its ten-item Factor 1 may be a useful screening tool to identify at-risk students. Anat Sci Educ. © 2017 American Association of Anatomists.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Choi-Lundberg, DL and Williams, A-MM and Zimitat, C
Keywords: gross anatomy education; undergraduate education; medical education; medical students; student perception; anatomical sciences; dissection anatomy; learning; assessment
Journal or Publication Title: Anatomical Sciences Education
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISSN: 1935-9780
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/ase.1693
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 American Association of Anatomists

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