While not a new teaching and learning approach, debating may be considered novel when included in a suite of more traditional teaching and learning activities. Despite the potential benefits of debates for the development of generic skills, their use in physiotherapy education remains unreported. Thus, our aim was to evaluate student satisfaction of a debate assessment item in a physiotherapy capstone course. We recruited students enrolled in a final year physiotherapy course undertaking a group debate assessment. Students were invited to complete two surveys of their expectations regarding the debate assessment, and their satisfaction after completing the debate. Students were further invited to participate in a focus group. All students participated in the debate (n = 20). Six students (30%) completed the first survey, 16 students (80%) completed the second survey, and seven students (35%) participated in the post-debate focus group. We found that before the assessment item students were apprehensive about the debate, however they felt it would be a beneficial learning experience. After the debate, students claimed they enjoyed the novel assessment and were supportive of its continued inclusion in the capstone course, however, students were ambivalent on the inclusion of debates in earlier courses in the program.
Recommended CitationWeeks, Benjamin K. and Laakso, Liisa, Using Debates as Assessment in a Physiotherapy Capstone Course: A Case Example, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 13(3), 2016.