Changes to the teaching of clinical masking for audiology students, including a new software-based teaching tool, maskME.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Introduction. Hearing tests often require masking, the procedure that isolates the ears so they are able to be tested separately. Known to be a difficult topic to teach and learn, the present study set out to create and evaluate new resources to teach masking, including a custom piece of simulation software, maskME. Simulation software for audiometry, the battery of tests that measure a person’s hearing, have been in existence since the 1980s. Studies investigating their potential for use with audiology students have emerged in the past fifteen years, many with promising findings.
Methods. There were four sessions on masking and six groups of participants ranging in size from four to 21 participants. There were 25 non-audiology student participants and 23 audiology student participants. Iterative changes were made to the sessions based on feedback, and the sessions were either two or three hours long. All participants completed a quiz and questionnaire after attending a session and the audiology students also completed a pre-session quiz. Quiz scores were compared within and between groups. Questionnaire responses were used to evaluate how useful participants rated aspects of the session.
Results. This study found that declarative knowledge of masking concepts increased for audiology students after attending a one-off session in which maskME simulation software was used as a teaching resource. It also exposed the limits of what could be taught to non-audiology student participants in a one-off session. Responses to a questionnaire about the usefulness of the session were generally positive, with mean scores between agree and strongly agree in each of the four sessions.
Conclusion. This study added to the growing body of literature that supports the use of simulation software in audiology education.