Increasing the scaffolding: Development and implementation of an innovative chemistry preparatory program for Indigenous students entering UQ's MBBS program.

Emma Bartle, Maree Toombs, Gwendolyn Lawrie, Stephen Corporal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

In 2009, The University of Queensland introduced an alternative entry pathway into the MBBS program for Indigenous students. This has proven highly successful, with a significant increase in enrolment numbers since. However, improving access is only one part of the equation to increasing Indigenous participation in higher education. Developing strategies to ensure the retention and success of equity groups is another key issue and remains a priority in UQ’s Strategic Teaching and Learning Plan. The first semester and first year of the MBBS program are critical times and to ensure our students transition successfully and survive these initial months with confidence and enthusiasm it is essential to provide a scaffolding of cultural and academic support. Anecdotal evidence collected by the authors has identified chemistry as an area causing great academic concern to our Indigenous students. Students entering the MBBS program through the alternative entry pathway do not necessarily have the same background level of chemistry as our non-Indigenous students, placing them at an academic disadvantage even before commencing their MBBS studies.

This paper will detail the development of an innovative chemistry preparatory program for UQ’s Indigenous MBBS students. Semi-structured interviews with the current cohort of Indigenous students have been used to determine what teaching practices help or hinder success in completing MBBS-related study. These factors have been considered when developing the learning materials. This program consists of two elements: 1) an introductory workshop to be embedded into the Indigenous students' orientation program, and 2) a personalised online ‘Chemistry Toolbox’ to provide continued support throughout the semester.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventLeaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Connection IV - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 29 Nov 20111 Dec 2011

Conference

ConferenceLeaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Connection IV
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
CityAuckland
Period29/11/111/12/11

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