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1.  Benefits of off-campus education for students in the health sciences: a text-mining analysis 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:84.
Background
In Japan, few community-based approaches have been adopted in health-care professional education, and the appropriate content for such approaches has not been clarified. In establishing community-based education for health-care professionals, clarification of its learning effects is required. A community-based educational program was started in 2009 in the health sciences course at Gunma University, and one of the main elements in this program is conducting classes outside school. The purpose of this study was to investigate using text-analysis methods how the off-campus program affects students.
Methods
In all, 116 self-assessment worksheets submitted by students after participating in the off-campus classes were decomposed into words. The extracted words were carefully selected from the perspective of contained meaning or content. With the selected terms, the relations to each word were analyzed by means of cluster analysis.
Results
Cluster analysis was used to select and divide 32 extracted words into four clusters: cluster 1—“actually/direct,” “learn/watch/hear,” “how,” “experience/participation,” “local residents,” “atmosphere in community-based clinical care settings,” “favorable,” “communication/conversation,” and “study”; cluster 2—“work of staff member” and “role”; cluster 3—“interaction/communication,” “understanding,” “feel,” “significant/important/necessity,” and “think”; and cluster 4—“community,” “confusing,” “enjoyable,” “proactive,” “knowledge,” “academic knowledge,” and “class.”
Conclusions
The students who participated in the program achieved different types of learning through the off-campus classes. They also had a positive impression of the community-based experience and interaction with the local residents, which is considered a favorable outcome. Off-campus programs could be a useful educational approach for students in health sciences.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-84
PMCID: PMC3479041  PMID: 22928985
Community-based education; School of health sciences; Early exposure; Role model; Text-mining methods
2.  Systematic inclusion of mandatory interprofessional education in health professions curricula at Gunma University: a report of student self-assessment in a nine-year implementation 
Background
The mandatory interprofessional education programme at Gunma University was initiated in 1999. This paper is a statistical evaluation of the programme from 1999 to 2007.
Methods
A questionnaire of 10 items to assess the achievement levels of the programme, which was developed independently of other assessment systems published previously, was distributed, as well as two or three open-ended questions to be answered at the end of each annual module. A multivariate analysis of variance model was used, and the factor analysis of the responses was performed with varimax rotation.
Results
Over all, 1418 respondents of a possible 1629 students completed the survey, for a total response rate of 87.1%. Cronbach's alpha of 10 items was 0.793, revealing high internal consistency. Our original questionnaire was categorized into four subscales as follows: "Role and responsibilities", "Teamwork and collaboration", "Structure and function of training facilities", and "Professional identity". Students in the Department of Occupational Therapy reached a relatively lower level of achievement. In the replies to the open-ended questions, requests for the participation of the medical students were repeated throughout the evaluation period.
Conclusion
The present four subscales measure "understanding", and may take into account the development of interprofessional education programmes with clinical training in various facilities. The content and quality of clinical training subjects may be remarkably dependent on training facilities, suggesting the importance of full consultation mechanisms in the local network with the relevant educational institutes for medicine, health care and welfare.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-60
PMCID: PMC2726117  PMID: 19624861

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