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Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations

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journal contribution
posted on 21.01.2021, 05:35 authored by Derek L Choi-Lundberg, Hayder Al-AubaidyHayder Al-Aubaidy, John R Burgess, Christine A Clifford, William A Cuellar, Judi A Errey, Amanda J Harper, Roslyn C Malley, Renee M Ross, Anne-Marie M Williams, Richard Hays
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Introduction: Various pressures exist for curricular change, including economic forces, burgeoning knowledge, broadening learning outcomes, and improving quality and outcomes of learning experiences. In an Australian 5-year undergraduate medical course, staff were asked to reduce teaching hours by 20% to alleviate perceived overcrowded preclinical curriculum, achieve operating efficiencies and liberate time for students’ self-directed learning. Methods: A case study design with mixed methods was used to evaluate outcomes. Results: Teaching hours were reduced by 198 hours (14%) overall, lectures by 153 hours (19%) and other learning activities by 45 hours (7%). Summative assessment scores did not change significantly after the reductions: 0.4% increase, 1.5% decrease and 1.7% increase in Years 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The percentage of students successfully completing their academic year did not change significantly: 94.4% before and 93.3% after the reductions. Student evaluations from eVALUate surveys changed little, except workload was perceived to be more reasonable. Conclusions: Teaching hours, particularly lectures, can be moderately reduced with little impact on student learning outcomes or satisfaction with an undergraduate medical course.


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Medical Teacher






8p. (p. 58-65)


Taylor & Francis



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