Contextualization of an Introductory Physiology Course to Address Student Disengagement During Remote Learning in Aotearoa
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Extended periods of population lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic required many university courses to be delivered completely online, and for a student, this can lead to feelings of isolation, disconnectedness, and disengagement. This article proposes a hypothetical modification to an undergraduate course in physiology to address possible student disengagement when studying remotely. Through contextualisation, the delivery of course content is made relevant to everyday life experiences in Aotearoa (New Zealand)—this approach may improve retention of material and sustain interest in the course. Four scenarios are presented which align physiology content with information sources that present a context relevant to the lived experience in Aotearoa. Each scenario’s learning outcomes, course content, and assessment are constructively aligned, consistent with current pedagogical practices in course design. It is suggested that adopting this contextualisation approach may increase the likelihood of student course completion, reduce student attrition, and increase student engagement during periods of extended remote learning. Further, it is suggested that using contextualisation presents an opportunity to redesign a higher education course to focus more on the relevance of academic material to the real-world lived experiences of students.