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Online or onsite? Comparison of the relative merit of delivery format of Aboriginal cultural-awareness-training to undergraduate chiropractic students

Lyndon Amorin-Woods (Murdoch University Chiropractic Clinic, Discipline of Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic (PESCC), College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education (SHEE), Perth, Australia)
Hugo Gonzales (Discipline of Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic (PESCC), College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education (SHEE), Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)
Deisy Amorin-Woods (Psychotherapist/Family Therapist, Director and Principal; Insight Counselling and Relationship Centre, Perth, Australia and Seasonal Academic and Fieldwork Student Liaison, School of Social Work and Social Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)
Barrett Losco (Discipline of Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic (PESCC), College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education (SHEE), Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)
Petra Skeffington (Discipline of Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic (PESCC), College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education (SHEE), Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)

Journal for Multicultural Education

ISSN: 2053-535X

Article publication date: 27 September 2021

Issue publication date: 18 November 2021

312

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ATSI), it is expected that non-ATSI health-care professionals become culturally aware; however, participants’ perceptions of the relative merit of cultural awareness training (CAT) formats is uncertain.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors compared undergraduate students’ perceptions of an asynchronous online format with onsite delivery formats of CAT using a mixed-method design. Students from five successive cohorts (n = 64) in an undergraduate programme were invited to complete a post-training survey which gathered quantitative and qualitative data.

Findings

Whilst feedback was positive regarding both formats, the onsite format was preferred qualitatively with several valuable learning outcome themes emerging from the results. These themes included; “perceived benefits of self-evaluation of students’ own culture whilst learning about Aboriginal culture”; “encouraging to be provided with scenarios, examples and exercises to enhance cultural awareness” and “engagement with the interactive facilitator approach”. There were differing views about the benefits of learning the history of oppression which warrant further research.

Research limitations/implications

Results may be applicable to undergraduate allied health students who participate in clinical immersion placements (CIPs) who participate in Aboriginal CAT.

Practical implications

Given the changing dynamic in education forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, more resources may need to be directed to improving online training and possibly combining formats in course delivery.

Social implications

The strength of the study is that the authors achieved a response rate of 100%, thus the results are highly significant for the sample. This sample represents 41.3% of chiropractic students who attended CAT and CIPs at this university over the course of 9 years, thus the results could be generalized to chiropractic students who participated in these types of placements.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to compare student perceptions of different formats of Aboriginal CAT for final year chiropractic undergraduate students in Australia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Authors acknowledge the Aboriginal people of the many traditional lands and language groups of Western Australia where the clinical placements were conducted. They acknowledge particularly the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional custodians of this country and its waters and that Murdoch and Edith Cowan Universities stand in Noongar country. Authors pay their respects to Elders’ past, present and emerging and also acknowledge their wisdom and advice in their teaching and cultural knowledge activities.

Ethics approval: Ethics approval was granted for this study (Project No. 2011/241) by the Murdoch University Research Ethics Office (Division of Research and Development).

Data availability: Data are available on reasonable request from the corresponding author.

Citation

Amorin-Woods, L., Gonzales, H., Amorin-Woods, D., Losco, B. and Skeffington, P. (2021), "Online or onsite? Comparison of the relative merit of delivery format of Aboriginal cultural-awareness-training to undergraduate chiropractic students", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 374-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/JME-03-2021-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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