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Open Access Research article

Medical students' perceptions of the educational environment at an Iranian Medical Sciences University

Teamur Aghamolaei1* and Ismaeil Fazel2

Author Affiliations

1 Public Health Department, Health School, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 English Department, Medical School, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

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BMC Medical Education 2010, 10:87  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-87

Published: 29 November 2010

Abstract

Background

Students' perceptions of their educational environment have a significant impact on their behavior and academic progress. The aim of this study was to assess the perceptions of medical students concerning their educational environment at Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, questionnaires were distributed to 210 medical students and 182 were analyzed (response rate = 86.6%); twenty-eight questionnaires were excluded because they were incomplete or unreturned for analysis. Data were collected using a DREEM questionnaire which comprised 50 items based on the Likert scale (scores could range from 0 to 200). There were five domains to the questionnaire including students' perceptions of learning, students' perceptions of teachers, students' academic self-perceptions, students' perceptions of atmosphere and students' social self-perceptions. Data were analyzed using SPSS16 software.

Results

The mean age of the subjects was 21.7 years (SD = 2.7); 38.5% were male and 61.5% were female. Students' perceptions of learning, students' perceptions of teachers, students' academic self-perceptions, students' perceptions of atmosphere, students' social self-perceptions and total DREEM score were 21.2/48, 24.2/44, 15.8/32, 23.8/48, 14.5/28 and 99.6/200, respectively. There was no significant difference between male and female students in educational environment subscales, but there were significant differences between students enrolled on a basic sciences and pathophysiology course and those enrolled on a clinical course in terms of perceptions of learning, academic self-perceptions, perceptions of atmosphere and overall perceptions of educational environment (p < 0.05). The latter group rated each of the aforementioned aspects more highly than the students studying basic science and pathophysiology.

Conclusion

Overall, respondents assessed the educational environment as average. Therefore, improvements are required across all five domains of the educational environment.