Online or onsite? Comparison of the relative merit of delivery format of Aboriginal cultural-awareness-training to undergraduate chiropractic students
Journal for Multicultural Education
School of Arts and Humanities
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.