Assessing a New Medical School in Zambia Using Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measurement: A cross-sectional study
Keywords:DREEM, Educational Environment, Medical school, students’ perception, Zambia
Background: Learners’ perception of learning environment reflects educational program’s effectiveness. For new medical schools, determining effectiveness of teaching and learning is desirable quality assurance process.
Aim: To determine pioneer medical students’ perception of learning environment of a new school using Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measurement (DREEM).
Methods: Quantitative cross-sectional study design was adopted. Consenting medical students in second and third years of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree program were surveyed with a questionnaire comprising a demographic competent and 50 DREEM items. Non-probability sampling was adopted. Completed questionnaires were sorted and rated. The resulting quantitative data were analysed for mean scores with SPSS 21 software. Mean total scores and mean scores in five subscales were determined. Scores on individual items were also analysed. Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess dataset reliability.
Results: The study recorded 137 participants, 54.2 % females and 45.8 % males. Mean age was 22 (± 4.03) years. Mean total DREEM score was 117.5 (58.8 %) and interpreted as “more positive than negative.” Scores in subscales of perception of learning, perception of teachers, academic self-perception, and perception of atmosphere, were positive with mean scores of 62.9 %, 60.2 %, 63.4 %, and 55.6, respectively. Subscale of social self-perception rated poorly with mean score of 48.9 % and interpreted as “not a nice place.” Single items revealed five major problem areas: lack of adequate support, authoritarian leadership, over-emphasis on factual learning, poor memorizing, and excessive stress.
Conclusion: This analysis revealed major problems and weaknesses in the new school and addressing them could improve educational quality.
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