An approach for calculating student-centered value in education - a link between quality, efficiency, and the learning experience in the health professions

Peter Nicklen, George Rivers, Caryn Ooi, Dragan Ilic, Scott Reeves, Kieran Walsh, Stephen Maloney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Health professional education is experiencing a cultural shift towards student-centered education. Although we are now challenging our traditional training methods, our methods for evaluating the impact of the training on the learner remains largely unchanged. What is not typically measured is student-centered value; whether it was 'worth' what the learner paid. The primary aim of this study was to apply a method of calculating student-centered value, applied to the context of a change in teaching methods within a health professional program. This study took place over the first semester of the third year of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Monash University, Victoria, Australia, in 2014. The entire third year cohort (n = 78) was invited to participate. Survey based design was used to collect the appropriate data. A blended learning model was implemented; subsequently students were only required to attend campus three days per week, with the remaining two days comprising online learning. This was compared to the previous year's format, a campus-based face-Toface approach where students attended campus five days per week, with the primary outcome- Value to student. Value to student incorporates, user costs associated with transportation and equipment, the amount of time saved, the price paid and perceived gross benefit. Of the 78 students invited to participate, 76 completed the post-unit survey (nonparticipation rate 2.6%). Based on Value to student the blended learning approach provided a $1,314.93 net benefit to students. Another significant finding was that the perceived gross benefit for the blended learning approach was $4014.84 compared to the campus-based face-To-face approach of $3651.72, indicating that students would pay more for the blended learning approach. This paper successfully applied a novel method of calculating studentcentered value. This is the first step in validating the value to student outcome. Measuring economic value to the student may be used as a way of evaluating effective change in amodern health professional curriculum. This could extend to calculate total value, which would incorporate the economic implications for the educational providers. Further research is required for validation of this outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0162941
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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