Author: Keane M and Shaw NJ Publication Year: 2013
Summary: This study assesses whether ELEPHANT criteria (Encouraging Learning, Entertaining People, and Having A Nice Time) when used, are associated with teaching that is more worthwhile and memorable.
Description: This study aimed to assess whether ELEPHANT criteria (Encouraging Learning, Entertaining People, and Having A Nice Time) when used, are associated with teaching that is more worthwhile and memorable.

Paediatric trainees attending a teaching programme over a four month period were asked to score on a questionnaire whether they felt each session had encouraged learning, had been entertaining, had been enjoyable and how educationally worthwhile it had been. At the end of the programme a further questionnaire asked trainees to identify the most memorable sessions.

Two hundred and fifty-one questionnaires were returned for 46 teaching sessions. Median score for ‘Encouragement’ was 6 (Range 3-7), ‘Entertainment’ 6 (Range 2-7), Enjoyability’ 6 (Range 2-7), and ‘educational-usefulness’ 6 (Range 2-7). There was a correlation between each of: ‘Encouragement’ (r=0.72), ‘Entertainment’ (r=0.61), and ‘Enjoyability’ (r=0.76) scores and ‘educational usefulness’ (p <0.0001 for all). ELEPHANT scores for the 27 sessions that were most enjoyed or considered most worthwhile were significantly higher than scores given for 19 sessions that weren’t identified (‘Encouragement’ (p<0.01), ‘Entertainment’ (p<0.01), and ‘Enjoyability’ (p<0.001)).

This study offers evidence that learners find Encouraging, Entertaining and Enjoyable teaching to be more worthwhile and should stimulate teachers to actively incorporate ELEPHANT attributes into their teaching.

Support files: