Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene

Department

Dental Hygiene

First Advisor

Rebecca L Stolberg

Second Advisor

Ann O'Kelley Wetmore

Third Advisor

Nancy Birch

Abstract

"Purpose. Identifying participation motivation within degree levels may offer insight and improve Course Evaluations (CEs) effectiveness. Problem Statement. CEs have been used widely in educational settings to gain feedback from students. Studies within literature address participation as a critical factor in gaining feedback. Literature also demonstrates purpose and meaning behind CEs, factors that contribute to participation, and recommendations for improvement, in addition to gaps in research. Little is known how level of degree (undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctorate) affects participation in CEs. Method. This study was designed to address the following research objectives: (a) to determine health professional students' awareness of how CEs may be utilized; (b) to determine if health professional students believe information obtained from CEs is utilized by faculty and administrators; (c) to determine if differences exist in participation of CEs by levels of degree; and (d) to determine if health professional students prefer online or traditional methods of delivery of CEs. Sample was collected from Eastern Washington University's Health Science programs: Dental Hygiene, BSDH students; Communication Disorders, BSCD students (N=173); Communication Disorders Post Baccalaureate Certificate students (N=17); Dental Hygiene Masters, MSDH students; Masters Occupational Therapy, MSOT students (N=72); and Doctorate Physical Therapy, DPT; Doctorate of Dental Surgery, DDS students (N=108). An anonymous questionnaire asked a series of participation motivators and factors, using a 7-Point Likert type scale. Open-comment questions were also asked. Students were informed of the study and purpose before asked to voluntarily complete the questionnaire. Results. The results suggest health profession students are aware of how CEs may be utilized. Health professional students also believe that CEs have been explained, in addition to understanding the purpose of CEs. Students are aware that retention, promotion, and tenure are variables that are utilized from CE. However, students' awareness of salary decisions was lower. Health professional students believe information obtained from CEs is utilized by faculty and administrators. Participation differences in CEs between degree levels indicated participation in CEs does increase between Baccalaureate and Masters students. However, there was little difference between Masters and Doctorate students. Results also indicated graduate students (both Doctorate and Masters) were higher than Baccalaureate students when asked if participation in CEs increase between undergraduate and graduate studies. When determining if students prefer online or traditional delivery of CEs, results show the preference was online. Conclusions . Further comparison studies between student degree levels and participation may provide valuable insight on how CEs are implemented and distributed. Additionally, increased participation gains valuable feedback from students who offer insight regarding student motivation to complete CEs. Changing course content, curriculum and instruction benefits the learning environment. Recognizing how degree levels may play a part in student motivation to participate in CEs, allows for design modifications to suite the various degrees. Further comparison studies between degree levels and participation may provide valuable insight on how CEs are implemented and distributed. The study supports the following National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda objective: C. Professional Education and Development: Studies in this category are concerned with educational methods, curricula, students and faculty; recruitment and retention of students and faculty; and, promoting graduate education and career path options"--Document.

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