Why Don’t We Just Ask Them? A Qualitative Study Regarding College Student Perceptions on What Topics Should Be Included in an Introductory Health Course

Kristen Brewer, Aaron Diehr, Kadi Bliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Student perceptions and opinions regarding the relevance of course content can influence their desire and motivation to learn. Instructors can benefit from including content relevant to students’ lives, possibly leading them to take a greater interest in gaining knowledge and applying the material. This study aimed to investigate the health topics included in an introductory health course offered at a medium-sized, public liberal arts university in Tennessee and to explore perceptions of current undergraduate students regarding the relevance of those topics. Over the 2018–2019 academic year, four focus groups were conducted with 14 students who discussed their perceptions, opinions, and experiences of the course and offered suggestions regarding topics they thought should be incorporated in future iterations of the course. Participants wished that topics currently covered in the course, such as nutrition and fitness, would incorporate more experiential learning to provide greater applicability to their lives as college students. Students also expressed a desire for greater coverage of topics that they considered particularly relevant to their lifestyle and health, such as mental health, sleep, time management, and decision making. Information from this study can be used to help develop course content for undergraduate personal health courses so students can feel more connected to the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalPedagogy in Health Promotion
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society for Public Health Education.

Keywords

  • comprehensive health education
  • course development
  • student perceptions
  • undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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