Open Access Open Badges Research article

Development of the clinical learning evaluation questionnaire for undergraduate clinical education: factor structure, validity, and reliability study

Ali I AlHaqwi1*, Jeroen Kuntze2 and Henk T van der Molen3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, King Saud Ben Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, PO Box: 69416, Riyadh 11547, Saudi Arabia

2 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands

3 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:44  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-44

Published: 4 March 2014



Teaching and learning of clinical skills for undergraduate medical students usually takes place during the clinical clerkship. Therefore, it is of vital importance to ensure the effectiveness of the rotations within this clerkship. The aims of this study were to develop an instrument that measures the effectiveness of the clinical learning environment, to determine its factor structure, and to find first evidence for the reliability and validity of the total scale and the different factors.


The Clinical Learning Evaluation Questionnaire (CLEQ) is an instrument, consisting of 40 items, which have been developed after consideration of the results of a qualitative study that investigated the important factors influencing clinical learning, both from the perspective of students, as well as teachers. Results of relevant literature that investigated this issue were also incorporated in the CLEQ. This instrument was administered to a sample of students (N = 182) from three medical colleges in Riyadh city, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The factor structure of the CLEQ (Principal component analysis, Oblimin rotation) and reliability of the factor scales (Cronbach’s α) were determined. Hypotheses concerning the correlations between the different factors were tested to investigate their convergent and divergent validity.


One hundred and nine questionnaires were returned. The factor analysis yielded six factors: F1 Cases (8 items), F2 Authenticity of clinical experience (8 items), F3 Supervision (8 items), F4 Organization of the doctor-patient encounter (4 items), F5 Motivation to learn (5 items), and F6 Self awareness (4 items). The overall internal consistency (α) of the CLEQ was 0.88, and the reliabilities (Cronbach’s α) of the six factors varied from .60 to .86. Hypotheses concerning the correlations between the different factors were partly confirmed, which supported the convergent validity of the factors, but not their divergent validity. Significant differences were found between the scores of the students of the three different schools on the factors Supervision and Organization of patient-doctor encounter.


The results of this study demonstrated that CLEQ is a multidimensional and reliable instrument. It can be utilized as an evaluation tool for clinical teaching activities, both by educators as well as students. Further research is needed into the validity of the CLEQ.