The aim of this study was to explore variation in nursing students’ motivation to complete their programme of study, as well as factors relating to low versus high motivation and students’ opinions of what would increase their motivation to complete their programme of study.
A study was carried out between April 2006 and December 2007. A total of 872 students registered in a 3-year nursing programme randomly participated in self-rating their motivation score once each semester. Descriptive statistics, statistical calculations and content analysis regarding open-ended questions were performed. Most of the students, 73%, rated their motivation as ≥6 on a 0-10 Likert scale; and 16% gave a rating of ≤4.
The desire to become a registered nurse (RN) and having a positive attitude towards the studies were the main factors influencing high motivation to complete the programme of study. Having a negative attitude towards the studies was an explanation of decreased motivation. There was a significant decrease (p=0.001) in the motivation score with respect to number of semesters, and motivation increased with the student’s age (p=0.0119). Suggestions for increasing motivation given by those who rated their motivation as ≤4 mainly focused on improvements in didactics and study organisation.
Nurse education; motivation.
Objective. To assess the academic performance and experiences of local, international, and collaborative exchange students enrolled in a 4-year Australian bachelor of pharmacy degree program.
Methods. Survey instruments exploring the demographics, background, and academic and cultural experiences of students during the program were administered in 2005 to students in all 4 years. Additionally, grades from each semester of the program for students (406 local, 70 international, 155 exchange) who graduated between 2002 and 2006 were analyzed retrospectively.
Results. The main differences found in the survey responses among the 3 groups were in students’ motivations for choosing the degree program and school, with international and collaborative exchange students having put more thought into these decisions than local students. The average grades over the duration of the program were similar in all 3 demographic groups. However, local students slightly outperformed international students, particularly at the start of the year, whereas collaborative exchange students’ grades mirrored those of local students during the 2 years prior to leaving their home country of Malaysia but more closely mirrored those of international students in the final 2 years after arriving on campus in Australia.
Conclusion. Despite differences in academic backgrounds and culture, international and exchange students can perform well compared to local students in a bachelor of pharmacy program and were actually more satisfied than local students with the overall experience. Studying in a foreign country can negatively influence academic grades to a small extent and this is probably related to adjusting to the new environment.
bachelor of pharmacy degree; academic performance; university experience; international students; exchange students
Objective. To determine the extent of the relationship between students’ inherent motivation to achieve in a doctor of pharmacy program and their motivation to achieve on a single low-stakes test of content knowledge.
Method. The Attitude Toward Learning Questionnaire (ATL) was administered to 66 third-year pharmacy students at the beginning of the spring 2011 semester, and the Student Opinion Scale (SOS) was administered to the same group immediately following completion of the Pharmacy Curricular Outcomes Assessment (PCOA).
Results. Significant differences were found in performance approach and work avoidance based on situational motivation scores. Situational motivation was also found to be directly correlated with performance and mastery approaches and inversely correlated with work avoidance. Criteria were met for predicting importance and effort from performance and mastery approaches and work avoidance scores of pharmacy students.
Conclusions. The ability to predict pharmacy students’ motivation to perform on a low-stakes standardized test of content knowledge increases the test’s usefulness as a measure of curricular effectiveness.
motivation; achievement goal orientation; Pharmacy Curricular Outcomes Assessment.
The tendency to use portfolios for evaluation has been developed with the aim of optimizing the culture of assessment. The present study was carried out to determine the effect of using portfolios as an evaluation method on midwifery students' learning and satisfaction in prenatal practical training. In this prospective cohort study, all midwifery students in semester four (n=40), were randomly allocated to portfolio and routine evaluation groups. Based on their educational goals, the portfolio groups prepared packages which consisted of a complete report of the history, physical examinations, and methods of patient management (as evaluated by a checklist) for women who visited a prenatal clinic. During the last day of their course, a posttest, clinical exam, and student satisfaction form were completed. The two groups' mean age, mean pretest scores, and their prerequisite course that they should have taken in the previous semester were similar. The mean difference in the pre and post test scores for the two groups' knowledge and comprehension levels did not differ significantly (P>0.05). The average scores on questions in Bloom's taxonomy 2 and 3 of the portfolio group were significantly greater than those of the routine evaluation group (P=0.002, P=0.03, respectively). The mean of the two groups' clinical exam scores was significantly different. The portfolio group's mean scores on generating diagnostic and therapeutic solutions and the ability to apply theory in practice were higher than those of the routine group. Overall, students' satisfaction scores in the two evaluation methods were relatively similar. Portfolio evaluation provides the opportunity for more learning by increasing the student's participation in the learning process and helping them to apply theory in practice.
Evaluation; Portfolio; Learning; Satisfaction
Medical student attitudes towards communication skills are important for curriculum planners and teachers. Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) is a private medical school admitting students mainly from the United States and Canada.
Attitude of students towards communication skills has not been previously studied in the institution. Hence the present study was carried out.
The study was carried out among the first, second, third and fourth semester undergraduate medical (MD) students at XUSOM, Aruba during July 2013 using the communication skills attitude scale (CSAS). Respondents’ age, gender, nationality, occupation of parents, place of residence of family, semester of study were noted. The positive and negative attitude scale scores were calculated and compared among different subgroups of respondents (p<0.05).
Fifty-one of the seventy-three students (69.9 per cent) participated. The majority were between 20 to 25 years of age, of American nationality, from metro cities and had excellent or good self-perceived verbal and written communication skills. The mean positive attitude scale (PAS) score was 47.65 (maximum being 65) and the mean negative attitude scale (NAS) score was 31.06 (maximum 65). PAS score was significantly higher among respondents whose fathers were not in health related professions. NAS scores were significantly lower among the third and fourth semester respondents.
Students overall had a positive attitude towards communication skills but negative attitudes were also noted Based on results of the study and a review of literature we are planning to start communication skills learning in the institution right from the first semester and students will be provided opportunities for supervised practice during early clinical exposure, hospital observership and with standardised patients. The medical humanities module will be expanded and communication skills learning will continue during the clinical years with higher order skills being taught.
Attitudes; communication skills; education; medical school; medical students
Research on emotional intelligence (EI) suggests that it is associated with more pro-social behavior, better academic performance and improved empathy towards patients. In medical education and clinical practice, EI has been related to higher academic achievement and improved doctor-patient relationships. This study examined the effect of EI on academic performance in first- and final-year medical students in Malaysia.
This was a cross-sectional study using an objectively-scored measure of EI, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Academic performance of medical school students was measured using continuous assessment (CA) and final examination (FE) results. The first- and final-year students were invited to participate during their second semester. Students answered a paper-based demographic questionnaire and completed the online MSCEIT on their own. Relationships between the total MSCEIT score to academic performance were examined using multivariate analyses.
A total of 163 (84 year one and 79 year five) medical students participated (response rate of 66.0%). The gender and ethnic distribution were representative of the student population. The total EI score was a predictor of good overall CA (OR 1.01), a negative predictor of poor result in overall CA (OR 0.97), a predictor of the good overall FE result (OR 1.07) and was significantly related to the final-year FE marks (adjusted R2 = 0.43).
Medical students who were more emotionally intelligent performed better in both the continuous assessments and the final professional examination. Therefore, it is possible that emotional skill development may enhance medical students’ academic performance.
Emotional intelligence; Educational assessments; Achievement; Medical students
The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of male students at the Health Science College in Abha, towards road traffic regulations.
Material and Methods:
This study was carried out during the second semester of the academic year 2002G among the students studying at the Health Science College for Boys in Abha, Aseer Region, Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire of 28 different questions was distributed to all available students and responded to under the direct supervision of the heads of the six departments of the college. The questionnaire consisted of three main parts; the first was about the socio-demographic and scientific data of the students; the second on the knowledge of road traffic regulations and the third dealt with attitudes and practice of driving and the use of seat belts.
Two hundred thirty eight out of 297 students (80%) responded to the questionnaire in this study. The mean age of the participants was 21 years, 47% lived in cities, 70% and 72% had cars and driving licenses respectively. More than half of the students had been involved in road traffic accidents (RTAs), 22% of these had been injured in these RTAs and 13% admitted to hospital for an average of nine days. High speed was the main cause of their RTAs. The mean speed at which the students drove their cars within and outside the city boundaries were 81 KM/h and 127 KM/h respectively.
The degree of knowledge of road traffic regulation was moderate to high in more than 75% of the students, while more than 90% of them believed in the importance of the use of seat belts. More than 75% of the participants mentioned that they had problems with the use of seat belts, the most common of which were forgetfulness and anxiety.
This study revealed that many students had been involved in RTAs as a result of driving at high speed. Most of the students had good attitudes towards the use of seat belts. The rate of compliance to the use of seat belts increased with the legislation on its use. Continuing health education and the monitoring of compliance to road traffic regulations is necessary if the incidence of RTAs is to be reduced.
Attitudes; Practice; Road Traffic Regulations; Students
Along with emersion of the Internet, virtual education increasingly has been growing. Many studies discussed this method and its impact on learning. Present study investigated students’ attitude towards virtual education as well as its effect on learning.
This was a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental study. The nursing students, who had selected fluids and electrolyte disorders course, were randomly divided into two virtual and conventional education groups. The knowledge of students was assessed through a written exam and students’ attitude towards virtual education assessed by a researcher-made questionnaire.
Mean scores of students in pretest were 0.8 (0.3) and 1.1 (0.59) in virtual and conventional group respectively [mean (SD)]. At the end of the semester their scores were 15.9 (0.58) and 16.51 (0.89) respectively. Mean attitude scores at baseline were 3.19 (0.48) and 3.21 (0.33) followed by 3.55 (0.45) and 3.21 (0.46) at the end of the semester in virtual and conventional groups respectively.
Although the scores of conventional group at the end of the course were higher than virtual group, both methods acted similarly in terms of increasing the knowledge. Passing a virtual education course may improve the attitude of the nurses towards it.
Virtual education; learning; attitude
Despite their ascribed intellectual ability and achieved academic pursuits, medical students’ academic achievement is influenced by motivation. This study is an endeavor to examine the role of motivation in the academic achievement of medical students.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional correlational study, out of the total 422 medical students, from 4th to final year during the academic year 2007–2008, at School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 344 participated in completion of the Inventory of School Motivation (ISM), comprising 43 items and measuring eight aspects of motivation. The gold standard for academic achievement was their average academic marks at pre-clinical and clinical levels. Data were computer analyzed by running a couple of descriptive and analytical tests including Pearson Correlation and Student's t-student.
Higher motivation scores in areas of competition, effort, social concern, and task were accompanied by higher average marks at pre-clinical as well as clinical levels. However, the latter ones showed greater motivation for social power as compared to the former group. Task and competition motivation for boys was higher than for girls.
In view of our observations, students’ academic achievement requires coordination and interaction between different aspects of motivation.
Academic achievement; medical students; motivation
Objectives: It was investigated how students judge the teaching of medical ethics and the history of medicine at the start and during their studies, and the influence which subject-specific teaching of the history, theory and ethics of medicine (GTE) - or the lack thereof - has on the judgement of these subjects.
Methods: From a total of 533 students who were in their first and 5th semester of the Bochum Model curriculum (GTE teaching from the first semester onwards) or followed the traditional curriculum (GTE teaching in the 5th/6th semester), questionnaires were requested in the winter semester 2005/06 and in the summer semester 2006. They were asked both before and after the 1st and 5th (model curriculum) or 6th semester (traditional curriculum). We asked students to judge the importance of teaching medical ethics and the history of medicine, the significance of these subjects for physicians and about teachability and testability (Likert scale from -2 (do not agree at all) to +2 (agree completely)).
Results: 331 questionnaire pairs were included in the study. There were no significant differences between the students of the two curricula at the start of the 1st semester.
The views on medical ethics and the history of medicine, in contrast, were significantly different at the start of undergraduate studies: The importance of medical ethics for the individual and the physician was considered very high but their teachability and testability were rated considerably worse. For the history of medicine, the results were exactly opposite.
GTE teaching led to a more positive assessment of items previously ranked less favourably in both curricula. A lack of teaching led to a drop in the assessment of both subjects which had previously been rated well.
Conclusion: Consistent with the literature, our results support the hypothesis that the teaching of GTE has a positive impact on the views towards the history and ethics of medicine, with a lack of teaching having a negative impact. Therefore the teaching of GTE should already begin in the 1st semester. The teaching of GTE must take into account that even right at the start of their studies, students judge medical ethics and the history of medicine differently.
Undergraduate medical education; Program evaluation; Medical Ethics; History of Medicine
Several studies have established impaired sleep is a common problem among nurses. Overworked, fatigued and stressed nurses are at a higher risk of making mistakes that threaten patient safety as well as their own health. The aim of the present study was to longitudinally monitor the development of sleep quality in nurses, starting from the last semester at the university, with three subsequent annual follow-ups once the nurses had entered working life.
Nationwide, longitudinal questionnaire study of nursing students and newly qualified nurses in Sweden. The results imply a continuous decline in sleep quality among nurses during the three years of follow-up, starting from their last semester of nursing education and continuing for three years into their working life. The most pronounced short-term decline in sleep quality seems to occur in the transition between student life and working life.
This finding is important since it may affect the quality of care and the health of nurses negatively.
This longitudinal study of 1,447 first-time college students tested separate time-varying covariate models of the relations between academic and social motives/behaviors and alcohol use and related problems from senior year of high school through the end of the second year in college. Structural equation models identified small but significant inverse relations between academic motives/behaviors and alcohol use across all time points, with relations of somewhat larger magnitude between academic motives/behaviors and alcohol-related problems across all semesters other than senior year in high school. At all time points, there were much larger positive relations between social motives/behaviors and alcohol use across all semesters, with smaller but significant relations between social motives/behaviors and alcohol-related problems. Multi-group models found considerable consistency in the relations between motives/behaviors and alcohol-related outcomes across gender, race/ethnicity, and family history of alcohol problems, although academic motives/behaviors played a stronger protective role for women, and social motives were a more robust risk factor for Caucasian and Latino students and individuals with a positive family history of alcohol problems. Implications for alcohol prevention efforts among college students are discussed.
college students; academic and social motivations; alcohol use; racial/ethnic and gender differences; family history
Students enter the medical study with internally generated motives like genuine interest (intrinsic motivation) and/or externally generated motives like parental pressure or desire for status or prestige (controlled motivation). According to Self-determination theory (SDT), students could differ in their study effort, academic performance and adjustment to the study depending on the endorsement of intrinsic motivation versus controlled motivation. The objectives of this study were to generate motivational profiles of medical students using combinations of high or low intrinsic and controlled motivation and test whether different motivational profiles are associated with different study outcomes.
Participating students (N = 844) from University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, were classified to different subgroups through K-means cluster analysis using intrinsic and controlled motivation scores. Cluster membership was used as an independent variable to assess differences in study strategies, self-study hours, academic performance and exhaustion from study.
Four clusters were obtained: High Intrinsic High Controlled (HIHC), Low Intrinsic High Controlled (LIHC), High Intrinsic Low Controlled (HILC), and Low Intrinsic Low Controlled (LILC). HIHC profile, including the students who are interest + status motivated, constituted 25.2% of the population (N = 213). HILC profile, including interest-motivated students, constituted 26.1% of the population (N = 220). LIHC profile, including status-motivated students, constituted 31.8% of the population (N = 268). LILC profile, including students who have a low-motivation and are neither interest nor status motivated, constituted 16.9% of the population (N = 143). Interest-motivated students (HILC) had significantly more deep study strategy (p < 0.001) and self-study hours (p < 0.05), higher GPAs (p < 0.001) and lower exhaustion (p < 0.001) than status-motivated (LIHC) and low-motivation (LILC) students.
The interest-motivated profile of medical students (HILC) is associated with good study hours, deep study strategy, good academic performance and low exhaustion from study. The interest + status motivated profile (HIHC) was also found to be associated with a good learning profile, except that students with this profile showed higher surface strategy. Low-motivation (LILC) and status-motivated profiles (LIHC) were associated with the least desirable learning behaviours.
Motivation; SDT; Learning outcomes; Academic performance; Intrinsic motivation; Controlled motivation; Motivational profiles
Broad social motives (not specific to alcohol use) have been established as an important predictor of alcohol use and problems among college students, but we have little understanding of the mechanisms through which such motives operate. Thus, the current study examined broad social motives prior to college entry as a predictor of college drinking/problems and sought to identify potential mechanisms through which they are associated with increased risk. Participants comprised a sample of 2,245 incoming college students (59.9% women) transitioning from high school through the college years. The first web-based survey was completed during the summer prior to matriculation with participants reporting on their behavior during the spring of high school senior year. Additional surveys were administered each academic semester through the fall of the fourth year. High school social motives were examined as a predictor of changes in alcohol use/problems from high school through senior year, with changes in descriptive norms, personal drinking values, and alcohol expectancies from high school to sophomore year examined as possible mediators of these relations. Descriptive norms, personal drinking values, and alcohol expectancies were robust mediators of broad social motives for both alcohol use and problems. Although there were a few differences by race/ethnicity in the alcohol use model, the mechanisms through which broad social motives operated were largely invariant across groups. These findings shed light on important mechanisms that can be targeted in prevention programs, particularly those that target groups who are likely to be high in broad social motives (e.g., fraternity/sorority members).
Social motives; alcohol use; college students; expectancies; descriptive norms; personal drinking values
An International Medicine Elective Seminar Course at the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) was designed in 1985 to present a description of medical education, medical care systems, major global health problems, and intervention programs in other countries. Seminars are scheduled for nine weeks in the fall semester. At the end of each course, the medical students complete evaluations. Almost all (97%) students in 1997-1998 evaluated the course as either good (55%) or excellent (45%). Enrollment in the International Medicine Seminar Course increased from 12 medical students in 1985-1986 to 62 students in 1997-1998. An increasing number of students have applied for a fourth-year overseas International Medicine Elective. This and students' evaluations indicated that they have been motivated toward international medicine. The atmosphere of informal seminars and faculty interaction with students has characterized the course. It has made this model of teaching an ideal forum for medical students' professional growth. This course offers students the opportunity and insight to explore facets of their professional role not explicitly covered in the formal medical curriculum. The International Medicine Seminar Course is a self-supported model and can be adopted readily by other medical schools.
To examine substance-related attitudes and behaviors among college students across an academic semester.
Pre-post quasi-experimental survey design.
A large Midwestern University.
Surveys were completed by 299 undergraduates enrolled in three courses: drugs and behavior, abnormal psychology, and normal personality theories.
Although students enrolled in the drug course were not more knowledgeable about drugs than others at baseline, their knowledge increased by semester’s end, while the others’ did not. Perceived prevalence of alcohol use was more accurate and became increasingly accurate among drugs and behavior students. Class enrollment, gender, and baseline substance use were associated with baseline attitudes and behaviors as well as changes over time.
This study offers implications for substance use education opportunities on college campuses.
Drug and alcohol education; substance use prevention; college students
Objectives. To evaluate the usefulness of a role-play model in developing students’ patient-care skills in a first-year undergraduate pharmacy practice course.
Design. A role-play model was developed and implemented in workshops across 2 semesters of a year-long course. Students performed different roles, including that of a pharmacist and a patient, and documented case notes in a single interaction.
Assessment. Student perceptions of the usefulness of the approach in acquiring skills were measured by surveying students during both semesters. All student assessments (N=130 in semester1; N=129 in semester 2) also were analyzed for skills in verbal communication, information gathering, counselling and making recommendations, and accurately documenting information. A majority of students found the approach useful in developing skills. An analysis of student assessments revealed that role-playing was not as effective in building skills related to accurate documentation as it was in other areas of patient care.
Conclusions. Role play is useful for developing patient-care skills in communication and information gathering but not for documentation of case notes.
simulation; role-play; assessment; student engagement; patient care
The purpose of this study was to analyze motivational profiles based on the self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 2000) and how these profiles are related to physical education students’ enjoyment, state anxiety, and physical activity. The participants, 429 sixth grade students (girls = 216; boys = 213) completed SMS, Sport Enjoyment Scale, PESAS, and Physical Activity Scale. Cluster analyses identified two motivational profiles: 1) the “High motivation profile”, in which the students had high intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and low levels of amotivation, and 2) the “Low motivation profile”, in which the students had low intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and low levels of amotivation. The students in the first cluster enjoyed physical education more and were physically more active. The results revealed that students may be motivated towards physical education lessons both intrinsically and extrinsically, and still experience enjoyment in physical education.
Two motivational profiles were revealed: 1) the “High motivation profile”, in which the students had high intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and low levels of amotivation, and 2) the “Low motivation profile”, in which the students had low intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and low levels of amotivation.
The students in the first profile enjoyed physical education more and were physically more active than the students in the second profile.
Moreover, the representatives of the “High motivation profile ”experienced greater anxiety toward physical education than the representatives of the “Low motivation profile”
These findings raised an interesting question whether students engaging in physical education benefit more from the presence of both self-determined and non-self-determined forms of motivation, or are the benefits higher if students are primarily self-determined?
Self-determination; cluster analysis; motivation; anxiety, behavioural
Most students participating in science undergraduate research (UR) plan to attend either medical school or graduate school. This study examines possible differences between premed and non–premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. Questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non–premed students were analyzed. No differences existed in the expectations of research between the two groups, but attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non–premed students. Follow-up interviews with 11 of the students, including a case study with one premed student, provided explanation for the observed differences. Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursuing medicine. They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career. Non–premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school research. The difference in the reasons students want to do UR may be used to tailor UR experiences for students planning to go to graduate school or medical school.
The purpose of this study was to describe outcome indicators of nursing education including critical thinking, professionalism, leadership, and communication and to evaluate differences among nursing programs and academic years. A descriptive research design was employed. A total of 454 students from four year baccalaureate (BS) nursing programs and two three-year associate degree (AD) programs consented to complete self-administered questionnaires. The variables were critical thinking, professionalism, leadership and communication. Descriptive statistics, χ2-test, t-tests, ANOVA, and the Tukey test were utilized for the data analysis. All the mean scores of the variables were above average for the test instruments utilized. Among the BS students, those in the upper classes tended to attain higher scores, but this tendency was not identified in AD students. There were significant differences between BS students and AD students for the mean scores of leadership and communication. These findings suggested the need for further research to define properties of nursing educational outcomes, and to develop standardized instruments for research replication and verification.
Education; Outcomes; Korea; Nursing students
This study investigated the use of a Web-based community health simulation as a problem-based learning (PBL) experience for undergraduate students majoring in public health. The study sought to determine whether students who participated in the online simulation achieved differences in academic and attitudinal outcomes compared with students who participated in a traditional PBL exercise.
Using a nonexperimental comparative design, 21 undergraduate students enrolled in a health-behavior course were each randomly assigned to one of four workgroups. Each workgroup was randomly assigned the semester-long simulation project or the traditional PBL exercise. Survey instruments were used to measure students' attitudes toward the course, their perceptions of the learning community, and perceptions of their own cognitive learning. Content analysis of final essay exams and group reports was used to identify differences in academic outcomes and students' level of conceptual understanding of health-behavior theory.
Findings indicated that students participating in the simulation produced higher mean final exam scores compared with students participating in the traditional PBL (p=0.03). Students in the simulation group also outperformed students in the traditional group with respect to their understanding of health-behavior theory (p=0.04). Students in the simulation group, however, rated their own level of cognitive learning lower than did students in the traditional group (p=0.03).
By bridging time and distance constraints of the traditional classroom setting, an online simulation may be an effective PBL approach for public health students. Recommendations include further research using a larger sample to explore students' perceptions of learning when participating in simulated real-world activities. Additional research focusing on possible differences between actual and perceived learning relative to PBL methods and student workgroup dynamics is also recommended.
Although undergraduates have long held a role as teaching assistants for introductory science courses at liberal arts colleges and universities, educational institutions often do not provide these students with opportunities to explore science teaching and pedagogy. At Brandeis University, we designed an internship course to help increase the motivation, understanding, and knowledge of teaching pedagogy for undergraduate teaching assistants that is offered concurrently with their teaching responsibilities. Weekly sessions with faculty mentors are guided by readings in current science education literature, and throughout the semester students are asked to develop new course material based on the pedagogical frameworks discussed. To evaluate the effectiveness of this course, we surveyed students at the close of the semester. We found an overall increase in student confidence levels with regard to teaching and better awareness of the difficulties faced in science education. All students who participated in the course expressed interest in participating in future educational internships. We believe that the Educating Young Educators internship has the potential to be a catalyst for personal and professional growth from a novice into an informed young educator.
The objective of this study was to assess student perceptions of the environment in this medical college using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM).
Cross-sectional study; 348 medical student volunteers (68.1%) of all semesters participated (511 enrolled). DREEM has 50 items, each rated from 0–4 (Likert scale: 0, strongly disagree to 4, strongly agree), that measure five domains: students’ perceptions of learning; perceptions of teachers; academic self-perception; perceptions of the atmosphere; and social self-perception. Mean item scores, domain scores, and global scores were computed.
The three highest rated items were knowledgeable teachers, having good friends, and confidence about passing; the three most problematic items were a poor support system for stressed students, inability to memorize everything, and over-emphasis on factual learning. The percentage score for perception of learning (47.26± 14.85) was significantly lower than that for teachers (52.28± 9.91; P< 0.001); academic self-perception (52.14 ± 15.21; P < 0.001); perception of the atmosphere (51.21 ± 13.60; P = 0.001); and social self-perception (50.63± 13.90; P= 0.010). The global scores were lowest for eighth-semester students (89.8± 21.24) when compared to second (101.33± 21.05; P= 0.003), fourth (107.69± 18.96; P< 0.001), and sixth (100.07± 20.61; P= 0.020).
Improvement is required across all domains of the educational environment at this institution. Students, particularly of the eighth semester, perceived the teaching negatively. The lowest scores were given to the support system, burdensome course content, and factual learning; thus, a hybrid curriculum that includes problem-based learning might provide students with stimulating learning; structured clinical teaching with specific curricular objectives, as well as mentoring of senior students by faculty and near-peers, might improve the learning environment for senior students.
Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure; Educational environment; Medical student; Perception; Questionnaire
It has been demonstrated that educational programs that focus on study skills could improve learning strategies and academic success of university students. Due to the important role of such supportive programs aimed at the fresh students, this survey was carried out to investigate the effectiveness of an optional course of learning and study skills on learning and study skills of second year medical students.
This quasi-experimental research was performed on 32 eligible medical students in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, who chose the optional course of learning and study skills. Both of intervention and control groups completed Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) at the beginning and the end of semester. Students in the intervention group studied different components of reading and learning skills using team working. Their final scores were calculated based on written reports on application of study skills in exams (portfolio), self-evaluation form and their progress in LASSI test. The mean differences of scores before and after intervention in each of ten test scales were compared between two groups.
The results showed that the mean difference scores in attitude, time management, information processing, main ideas selection, study aids and self-testing scales were significantly higher in the intervention group (p < 0.05 for all).
This optional course successfully improved learning strategies in the corresponding classroom activities. However, there was no improvement in the motivational scale which is tightly related to the educational success. Therefore, the implementation of educational programs with an emphasis on meta-cognitional aspects of learning is recommended.
Study skills; Curriculum; Learning and study strategies inventory; Medical student
As more and more information technology (IT) resources become available both for support of campus- based medical education and for Web-based learning, it becomes increasingly interesting to map the information technology resources available to medical students and the attitudes students have towards their use.
To determine how extensively and effectively information handling skills are being taught in the medical curriculum, the study investigated Internet and computer availability and usage, and attitudes towards information technology among first-year medical students in Aarhus, Denmark, during a five-year period.
In the period from 1998 to 2002, students beginning the first semester of medical school were given courses on effective use of IT in their studies. As a part of the tutorials, the students were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire which included questions related to IT readiness and attitudes towards using IT in studies.
A total of 1159 students (78%) responded. Overall, 71.7% of the respondents indicating they had access to a computer at home, a number that did not change significantly during the study period. Over time, the power of students' computers and the use of e-mail and Internet did increase significantly. By fall 2002, approximately 90% of students used e-mail regularly, 80% used the Internet regularly, and 60% had access to the Internet from home. Significantly more males than females had access to a computer at home, and males had a more positive attitude towards the use of computers in their medical studies. A fairly constant number of students (3-7%) stated that they would prefer not to have to use computers in their studies.
Taken together with our experience from classroom teaching, these results indicate optional teaching of basic information technology still needs to be integrated into medical studies, and that this need does not seem likely to disappear in the near future.
Information technology; Internet; e-mail; students, medical; education, medical