What are the attributes of a good health educator?

Dragan Ilic, Jessica Lee Harding, Christie Allan, Basia Olivia Diug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
The purpose of this study was to examine the attributes that students and educators believe are important to being a good health educator in a non-clinical setting.

Methods
A cross-sectional survey of first-year health science students and educators involved with a Health Science course in Melbourne, Australia was performed. A convenience sampling approach was implemented, with participants were required to rate the importance of teaching attributes on a previously developed 15-item written questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were generated, with Pearson’s chi-square statistics used to examine differences between groups. In total 94/147 (63.9%) of students and 15/15 (100%) of educators participated in the study.

Results
Of the 15 attributes, only ‘scholarly activity’ was not deemed to be not as an important attribute to define a good educator. Knowledge base (50% vs. 13.3%) and feedback skills (22.3% vs. 0%) were rated as important attributes by students in comparison to educators. Professionalism (20% vs. 5.3%), scholarly activity (20% vs. 3.2%) and role modelling (26.7% vs. 3.2%) were rated as the most important attributes by educators in comparison to students.

Conclusions
No single attribute makes a good health educator; rather health educators are required to have a rounded approach to teaching. Students have greater focus on the educator providing a transfer of knowledge. Educators are additionally focused on professionalism attributes, which may not be valued by students. Students and educators must enter into a clearer understanding of expectations, from both parties, to obtain optimal education outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-211
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Education
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • health educator
  • medical education
  • standards

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