Author(s): Saritha V. Nair1, Bindhu Vasudevan2
Learning environment in any medical school is found to be important in determining students' academic success. But one deterrent factor has been the lack of students’ perceptions about the educational atmosphere in their institution.
This study was undertaken to compare the perceptions of preclinical (year 1), paraclinical (year 3) and clinical phase (year 5) students regarding the learning environment at Government medical college, Alappuzha in Kerala and also to identify the gender wise differences in their perception using DREEM (Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross sectional study was conducted among the 1st year, 3rd year and final year students. Data was collected using a 50 item DREEM questionnaire. Non-parametric tests were used to find out the difference between the mean scores. Mean scores and domain scores were computed.
Among the three batches, year 3 (paraclinical) students were found to be more satisfied with the learning environment in this college as indicated by their higher DREEM score compared to the pre-clinical and clinical batch students. There was no significant Gender wise difference in the students' perceptions.
Identifying the strengths and weakness of the educational environment will help the institute to facilitate student- centered learning and achieve better learning outcomes. Improvement is required across all domains of the educational environment at this institution. Thus, a hybrid curriculum that includes problem-based learning might provide a stimulated learning to students. The study also revealed problematic areas of learning environment in our medical school which enabled us to adopt some remedial measures.