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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Students' perceptions of learning environment in an Indian medical school

Reem Abraham1*, K Ramnarayan2, P Vinod3 and Sharmila Torke1

Author Affiliations

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

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BMC Medical Education 2008, 8:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-20

Published: 11 April 2008

Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.