241015 Innovative Approach to teaching Research Methods for CAM professions

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:10 PM

Sivarama Prasad Vinjamury, MD (Ayurveda) , College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA
Gina Hamilton, DC, MAOM (c) , College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA
Research Methods is an essential course for all professional degrees including degrees in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This course primarily trains students to be intelligent consumers of research so that they can find, understand, and critically evaluate research evidence for application in professional practice. However, there is a generalized apathy among students towards this course and is typically unpopular because the course material is complex and technical in nature. The instructors face an unenviable task of motivating and engaging the students and often try innovative approaches to convince the students that the material is not “irrelevant and difficult.”

Active learning that encourages students to engage in doing something besides passively listening promotes greater student-faculty and student-student interaction, increases student retention and limits anxiety and permits opportunities to connect the content to real life. This paper discusses an educational approach that encourages active learning in research methods course designed for chiropractic and acupuncture students at a CAM institution. As a part of this approach, at the culmination of the course, the students engage in research debates that reinforce the research skills they acquire during the course including performing literature searches, critically appraising articles, interpreting results and applying the results in the clinical setting. Based on the student involvement and the qualitative feedback, the research debates appear to motivate the students and make them understand the value of research literacy.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Active Learning Techniques for teaching Research Methods Discuss the process, challenges and feedback of designing and implementing Research Debates in Research Methods Course

Keywords: Research, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and implemented this educational approach and this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.