Wednesday, 10 October 2012

More interviewing. More thoughts.

Three more interviews today with participants from both the intervention and control group.  Haven't transcribed yet (obviously) but some preliminary thoughts:

  • Knowing they were going to be assessed afterwards was probably the main focus for all of them and this strongly influenced their approach to how they used the VRE/plastic model.
  • They adopted subtly different approaches to how they used it but it was systematic in all cases and focused around the forthcoming assessment of spatial knowledge. I will look at whether specific learning strategies inherent in these participants correlates with this assessment focus. That's a good thing of the Vermunt ILS: You can look at sub-scale scores!
  • First thing that they all did was use the model to strengthen their knowledge of anatomy (not necessarily spatial knowledge) based on the pre-intervention MCQ - i.e. what they thought they didn't know.
  • After identifying structures they seemed to use the model to see how structures related to each other spatially. This was done differently by different participants. One (control group) went systematically sup to inf, ant to post and medial to lateral, self-testing as they went. There was relatively little rotation of the model during this. One (intervention) rotated the model freely to see how structures related to each other. They commented that this was really helpful to them. This participant had a relatively low spatial ability score compared to the other interviewees today. I wonder if this is important in relation to how they manipulated the model? The final interviewee (intervention) did not rotate the model at all while learning spatial relationships. He commented that he had a clear 3D mental image of the brain and thus didn't need to rotate it. His spatial ability score was relatively high. Again this is potentially of interest.
  • The self-testing theme definitely seems to be emerging. They all commented that they consciously did this.

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