Evaluation of a curriculum initiative designed to enhance the research training of dietetics graduates

Desbrow, Ben, Leveritt, Michael, Palmer, Michelle and Hughes, Roger (2014) Evaluation of a curriculum initiative designed to enhance the research training of dietetics graduates. Nutrition and Dietetics, 71 1: 57-63. doi:10.1111/1747-0080.12039

Author Desbrow, Ben
Leveritt, Michael
Palmer, Michelle
Hughes, Roger
Title Evaluation of a curriculum initiative designed to enhance the research training of dietetics graduates
Journal name Nutrition and Dietetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1446-6368
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1747-0080.12039
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 71
Issue 1
Start page 57
End page 63
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject 2916 Nutrition and Dietetics
Abstract Aim: To qualitatively evaluate a learning and teaching intervention for developing research and evaluation competencies, structured around the experience of having to conduct a significant research project. Methods: A qualitative study utilising semi-structured interviews among a sample of 25 recent graduates from Griffith University's Master of Nutrition and Dietetics Program. Interviews explored student motivations for doing the research major, the student's experience of the full-time semester long research project, and the actual and perceived outcomes of this experience. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed via open coding and triangular analysis by three of the authors. Results: All of the graduates interviewed had conducted research projects across a range of practice settings. Motivations for electing to do the research major varied from disinterest in other options to an opportunity to 'taste-test' research, to develop research competencies and secure pathways to later research studies. The student learning experience was described as intense, stressful but rewarding and a steep learning curve. Graduates reported that they learned much more than research competencies during this process and many converted this research activity into a research output (journal article or conference abstract). Students reflected on the strong sense of achievement associated with research outputs and the competitive advantage it had provided on seeking graduate employment. Conclusions: It is possible to develop graduate dietitians' research and evaluation competencies using curriculum initiatives that exploit experiential learning. Exposing students to the research practice cycle culminating in peer-reviewed publication builds research self-efficacy and positions students for good employment outcomes.
Keyword Competencies
Dietetic education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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