Student experiences and perceptions of content and learning processes during the fully online Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
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University of Pretoria, South Africa
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A671
Objectives: Describe enrolled students’ experiences regarding learning about public health online and perceptions about content and the learning process. Study design: A descriptive cross-sectional design. Methods: A 52-item closed-ended online questionnaire was sent to Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (PGDipPH) students enrolled from May 2020 to March 2021 (N=775), and who had completed at least two modules. Mean Student Experience Scores (SES) and an Overall Student Experience Score (OSES) were calculated. Logistic regression was used to determine associations between demographic variables and SES for each variable. Results: The response rate was 31% with majority (74%) being female aged 35-40 years. Most (97%) respondents agreed that modules provide multiple activities to enhance learning. Similarly, 92% agreed that multiple assessment strategies and innovative technology actively engages them in the learning processes. The 31–34-year age group was more likely to have a lower SES for opportunities for interaction and communication compared to the 20–30-year age group (OR 0.26, 95%CI 0.07-0.90, p=0.028). Respondents aged 31-34 years were more likely to have a lower SES on regular feedback regarding their performance throughout the modules compared to those aged 20-30 year (OR 0.32, 95%CI 0.11-0.88, p=0.028). Respondents agreed that their overall experiences of the PGDipPH were positive, OSES=37.66 (SD=3.70). Conclusions: Results shows that the online PGDipPH provides multiple activities to strengthen student learning and that multiple assessment strategies engages students in learning processes. The overall experience of the programme is positive; however, strategies of feedback for learning and feedback of learning need further study. Keywords: post graduate diploma, public health, online learning e-learning, student experience