Students' perceptions of aspects affecting seminar learning

A. Spruijt*, A. D. C. Jaarsma, H. A. P. Wolfhagen, P. van Beukelen, A. J. J. A. Scherpbier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Many medical and veterinary schools have curricula in which they use seminars of approximately 25 students to achieve their learning goals. There is not much research on seminar learning. Aim: To explore students' views regarding aspects that affect seminar learning. Methods: Twenty-four second-year students of a 3-year bachelor curriculum participated in semi-structured focus group interviews. The sessions were audio-taped and transcribed. Two researchers independently coded the data using qualitative methods. An iterative process of data reduction resulted in emerging aspects. The participating students were asked to comment on the preliminary results. Results: Course schedule, coherence and alignment of the different educational methods, the amount and type of seminar questions and the amount and clarity of the preparation materials affected seminar learning. Also, the didactic approach and facilitating methods used by the teachers, the group composition, size and atmosphere, the amount of active student participation and interaction and assessment influenced seminar learning according to students. Conclusion: Most aspects that affect seminar learning are consistent with aspects affecting small group learning. Course schedule and alignment seem to have a stronger impact on seminar learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E129-E135
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this