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Student evaluation team focus groups increase students’ satisfaction with the overall course evaluation process

Research paper by Katharina Brandl, Jess Mandel, Babbi Winegarden

Indexed on: 06 Dec '16Published on: 01 Nov '16Published in: Medical Education



Abstract

Most medical schools use online systems to gather student feedback on the quality of their educational programmes and services. Online data may be limiting, however, as the course directors cannot question the students about written comments, nor can students engage in mutual problem-solving dialogue with course directors. We describe the implementation of a student evaluation team (SET) process to permit course directors and students to gather shortly after courses end to engage in feedback and problem solving regarding the course and course elements.Approximately 16 students were randomly selected to participate in each SET meeting, along with the course director, academic deans and other faculty members involved in the design and delivery of the course. An objective expert facilitates the SET meetings. SETs are scheduled for each of the core courses and threads that occur within the first 2 years of medical school, resulting in approximately 29 SETs annually. SET-specific satisfaction surveys submitted by students (n = 76) and course directors (n = 16) in 2015 were used to evaluate the SET process itself. Survey data were collected from 885 students (2010–2015), which measured student satisfaction with the overall evaluation process before and after the implementation of SETs.Students and course directors valued the SET process itself as a positive experience. Students felt that SETs allowed their voices to be heard, and that the SET increased the probability of suggested changes being implemented. Students’ satisfaction with the overall evaluation process significantly improved after implementation of the SET process.Our data suggest that the SET process is a valuable way to supplement online evaluation systems and to increase students’ and faculty members’ satisfaction with the evaluation process.

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