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      Students' perceptions of learning environment in an Indian medical school

      , 1 , 2 , 3 , 1

      BMC Medical Education

      BioMed Central

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          Learning environment in any medical school is found to be important in determining students' academic success. This study was undertaken to compare the perceptions of first year and clinical phase students regarding the learning environment at Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC) (Manipal Campus) and also to identify the gender wise differences in their perceptions.


          In the present study, the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory was used. DREEM was originally developed at Dundee and has been validated as a universal diagnostic inventory for assessing the quality of educational environment. In the present study, DREEM was administered to undergraduate medical students of first year (n = 118) and clinical phase (n = 108) and the scores were compared using a nonparametric test.


          Among the two batches, first year students were found to be more satisfied with the learning environment at MMMC (as indicated by their higher DREEM score) compared to the clinical batch students. Gender wise, there was not much difference in the students' perceptions.


          The present study revealed that both groups of students perceived the learning environment positively. Nevertheless, the study also revealed problematic areas of learning environment in our medical school which enabled us to adopt some remedial measures.

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          Most cited references 8

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          AMEE Medical Education Guide No. 23 (Part 1): Curriculum, environment, climate, quality and change in medical education-a unifying perspective.

           J Genn (2001)
          This paper looks at five focal terms in education - curriculum, environment, climate, quality and change - and the interrelationships and dynamics between and among them. It emphasizes the power and utility of the concept of climate as an operationalization or manifestation of the curriculum and the other three concepts. Ideas pertaining to the theory of climate and its measurement can provide a greater understanding of the medical curriculum. The learning environment is an important determinant of behaviour. Environment is perceived by students and it is perceptions of environment that are related to behaviour. The environment, as perceived, may be designated as climate. It is argued that the climate is the soul and spirit of the medical school environment and curriculum. Students' experiences of the climate of their medical education environment are related to their achievements, satisfaction and success. Measures of educational climate are reviewed and climate measures for medical education are discussed. These should take account of current trends in medical education and curricula. Measures of the climate may subdivide it into different components giving, for example, a separate assessment of so-called Faculty Press, Student Press, Administration Press and Physical or Material Environmental Press. Climate measures can be used in different modes with the same stakeholders. For example, students may be asked to report, first, their perceptions of the actual environment they have experienced and, second, to report on their ideal or preferred environment. The same climate index can be used with different stakeholders giving, for example, staff and student comparisons. In addition to the educational climate of the environment that students inhabit, it is important to consider the organizational climate of the work environment that staff inhabit. This organizational climate is very significant, not only for staff, but for their students, too. The medical school is a learning organization evolving and changing in the illuminative evaluation it makes of its environment and its curriculum through the action research studies of its climate. Considerations of climate in the medical school, along the lines of continuous quality improvement and innovation, are likely to further the medical school as a learning organization with the attendant benefits. Unless medical schools become such learning organizations, their quality of health and their longevity may be threatened.
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            Development and validation of the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM)

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              A global diagnostic tool for measuring educational environment: comparing Nigeria and Nepal.

              The paper reports comparative data from a Nigerian undergraduate medical school and a Nepalese health professions institution in order to explore the value of the previously reported Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) in 'diagnosing' the environment and climate of particular institutions and making comparative analyses in two culturally diverse situations. The Nigerian undergraduate medical school scored 118 out of a possible 200 on the DREEM global score. There were significant differences on five of the items between the male and female students and several significant differences on individual items between the students in Years 4 and 5, Years 5 and 6, and Years 4 and 6. The Nepalese global score was 130/200 and there were significantly different scores for six items between the male and female students. The scores for Years 1-3 also showed several significantly different items. These scores permitted two distinct 'diagnoses' of the two medical schools.

                Author and article information

                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central
                11 April 2008
                : 8
                : 20
                [1 ]Department of Physiology, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus), Manipal, Karnataka, India
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus), Manipal, Karnataka, India
                [3 ]Department of Microbiology, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus), Manipal, Karnataka, India
                Copyright © 2008 Abraham et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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