PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

African Journal of Health Professions Education

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Optometry students’ attitudes towards research at undergraduate level

L Coetzee, S.B. Kruger

Abstract


Background. Universities worldwide are required to increase their levels of research productivity.

Objective. To bring about positive changes in research perspectives if the factors contributing to the attitude of undergraduate optometry students can be identified, enhanced and rectified.

Methods. Three nominal group technique (NGT) discussions were conducted with 22 final-year (4th-year) optometry students in central South Africa (SA) to reach consensus on the most important factors that students regarded as influencing their undergraduate research experiences. Data gathering and analysis took place simultaneously, while participants prioritised the data. Data were analysed by in vivo coding, and categories were grouped according to themes that emerged from the codes.

Results. Ranking and content analysis of coded statements yielded positive and negative categories, as well as categories with mixed codes. The major factor influencing students’ attitudes towards research was administration and the time-consuming nature of their research projects. Recommendations for more effective administration are given.

Conclusions. It was concluded that active steps should be taken by the Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, SA, to alter and minimise negative aspects encountered by the students, which could assist future students’ experiences of research at undergraduate level.




http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2018.v10i2.728
AJOL African Journals Online