Original Research

Bedside teaching in optometry: A millennial view on an ancient teaching and learning method

Elzana Kempen, Mathys J. Labuschagne, Mpho P. Jama
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a859 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.859 | © 2023 Elzana Kempen, Mathys J. Labuschagne, Mpho P. Jama | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 April 2023 | Published: 03 November 2023

About the author(s)

Elzana Kempen, Division Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Mathys J. Labuschagne, Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Mpho P. Jama, Division Student Learning and Development, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Bedside teaching is a key component of a positive learning environment where non-technical skills and professional attributes can be taught. It is also one of the few ways to transfer professionalism: a core competency in a health science curriculum. This study investigated the experiences and perceptions of optometry students on bedside teaching to improve its effectiveness, and tailor it to the needs of the millennial generation students.

Aim: This study aimed to determine the experiences and perceptions of optometry students on bedside teaching (apprenticeship) during an ocular pathology clinic.

Setting: The study was done at the Department of Optometry at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative case study was undertaken. All 17 final-year optometry students (N = 17) were invited to participate. Data were collected using an open-ended questionnaire. Content analysis was used to analyse the experiences and perceptions of the participants.

Results: Bedside teaching is a generally well-perceived experience from the student’s perspective. The role of the supervisor was mentioned as the critical factor that facilitated learning, specifically learning by observing the application of theory and handling and treatment of the patient.

Conclusion: This study showed that millennial students perceived bedside teaching positively and provided valuable insights into this teaching and learning method in an undergraduate optometry clinical education setting. Experiential learning benefited these millennial students who prefer learning by observation.

Contribution: A blueprint for the learning triad in bedside teaching is provided for optometry educators to apply this teaching and learning method successfully according to the needs of the current generation of students.


Keywords

bedside teaching; optometry education; clinical learning environment; millennial generation; qualitative research

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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