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Open Access Research article

Teaching methods in Hawler College of Medicine in Iraq: A qualitative assessment from teachers' perspectives

Abubakir M Saleh*, Namir G Al-Tawil and Tariq S Al-Hadithi

Author Affiliations

Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq

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BMC Medical Education 2012, 12:59  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-59

Published: 27 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Medical education in Iraq is poorly assessed and there is a general lack of documented knowledge about the challenges facing this field and the needs for its development. This study aimed to assess the existing teaching methods in the Hawler College of Medicine, Iraq from teaching staff perspectives and assess the knowledge of the teaching staff about student-centred learning.

Methods

A qualitative study based on a self-administered questionnaire survey of a purposive sample of 83 teaching staff in Hawler Medical University was conducted. The questionnaire addressed the participants’ view on the positive aspects and problems of the current teaching methods and priorities to change it. The qualitative data analysis comprised thematic analysis.

Results

The study revealed significant problems facing the existing teaching methods including having large number of students in the lecture hall (45.0 %), having focus on teacher-centred teaching (45.0 %) and lack of infrastructures and facilities suitable for proper teaching (26.7 %). The priorities for improving the quality of teaching methods included adoption of small group teaching strategy in all study years (34.6 %), improving the infrastructure and facilities for teaching in the college (34.6 %) and provision of continuous academic development programs for the teaching staff (24.3 %).

Conclusions

The existing medical education system face significant problems and it needs important and comprehensive improvements in different areas. There is a need for further research in this field to explore the identified problems in a more in-depth manner in order to better understand of the problems and needs of this important area of education.