Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations

Choi-Lundberg, Derek L., Al-Aubaidy, Hayder A., Burgess, John R., Clifford, Christine A., Cuellar, William A., Errey, Judi A., Harper, Amanda J., Malley, Roslyn C., Ross, Renee M., Williams, Anne-Marie M., and Hays, Richard (2020) Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations. Medical Teacher, 42 (1). pp. 58-65.

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Abstract

Introduction: Various pressures exist for curricular change, including economic forces, burgeoning knowledge, broadening learning outcomes, and improving quality and outcomes of learning experiences. In an Australian 5-year undergraduate medical course, staff were asked to reduce teaching hours by 20% to alleviate perceived overcrowded preclinical curriculum, achieve operating efficiencies and liberate time for students’ self-directed learning.

Methods: A case study design with mixed methods was used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Teaching hours were reduced by 198 hours (14%) overall, lectures by 153 hours (19%) and other learning activities by 45 hours (7%). Summative assessment scores did not change significantly after the reductions: 0.4% increase, 1.5% decrease and 1.7% increase in Years 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The percentage of students successfully completing their academic year did not change significantly: 94.4% before and 93.3% after the reductions. Student evaluations from eVALUate surveys changed little, except workload was perceived to be more reasonable.

Conclusions: Teaching hours, particularly lectures, can be moderately reduced with little impact on student learning outcomes or satisfaction with an undergraduate medical course.

Item ID: 68247
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466–187X
Copyright Information: © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2021 02:25
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3299 Other biomedical and clinical sciences > 329999 Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 50%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum @ 100%
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