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A study of student perceptions of learning transfer from a human anatomy and physiology course in an allied health program

Leigh S Harrell, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was two-fold. First the study was designed to determine student perceptions regarding the perceived degree of original learning from a human anatomy and physiology course, and the student perception of the use of the knowledge in an allied health program. Second, the intention of the study was to establish student beliefs on the characteristics of the transfer of learning including those factors which enhance learning transfer and those that serve as barriers to learning transfer. The study participants were those students enrolled in any allied health program at a community college in a Midwest state, including: nursing, radiology, surgical technology, health information technology, and paramedic. ^ Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed from the responses to the survey. A sub-group of participants were chosen to participate in semi-structured formal interviews. From the interviews, additional qualitative data were gathered. The data collected through the study demonstrated student perception of successful transfer experiences. The students in the study were able to provide specific examples of learning transfer experienced from the human anatomy and physiology course in their allied health program. Findings also suggested students who earned higher grades in the human anatomy and physiology course perceived greater understanding and greater use of the course's learning objectives in their allied health program. The study found the students believed the following learning activities enhances the transfer of learning: (1) Providing application of the information or skills being learned during the instruction of the course content enhances the transfer of learning. (2) Providing resource materials and activities which allow the students to practice the content being taught facilitates the transfer of learning. ^ The students made the following recommendations to remove barriers to the transfer of learning: (1) Teachers should be friendly, non-intimidating, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and organized to encourage successful transfer of learning. (2) Teachers should use different methods to teach ideas, get their students involved, and test over the content taught to facilitate the transfer of learning. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Health Sciences, Education|Education, Sciences

Recommended Citation

Harrell, Leigh S, "A study of student perceptions of learning transfer from a human anatomy and physiology course in an allied health program" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3222744.