Perceptions of students towards the postgraduate biology practical demonstrators at Sefako Makgatho health sciences university, Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The present study assessed the experiences of junior students on the ability, performance, and competence of demonstrators or instructors for practical classes in the Biology department. A total of 148 self-administered questionnaires were completed by the junior Biology students in years 1, 2, and 3. The result showed that 52.1% and 62.3% of the participants indicated that the demonstrators had adequate content knowledge of the practical sessions and were helpful during practical sessions respectively. Furthermore, 51.4% agreed that the marking of the practical assessments by the demonstrators was not usually accurate. Most of the respondents stated that the demonstrators were good listeners (77.4%), approachable (71.9%) and 83.0% of the participants did not have any problems with taking instructions from the demonstrators. The majority (69.0%) of the participants wanted the services of the demonstrators to be continued and 36.0% felt that there was a need to increase the number of demonstrators for the practical sessions. Some of the shortcomings of the demonstrators as mentioned by the respondents were the use of cell phones during the practical sessions and that the demonstrators were fond of talking amongst themselves rather than concentrating on the students they were supposed to assist. In general, though the demonstrators were considered to be helpful and that their services should be continued it is however recommended that they should be required to write pre-practical tests before the practical classes to improve their competency in marking and giving accurate answers during the practical classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Demonstrators
  • Laboratory
  • Postgraduate Students
  • Practical Classes

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