Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations
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.
Publication titleMedical Teacher
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
Place of publicationRankine Rd, Basingstoke, England, Hants, Rg24 8Pr
Rights statementCopyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Medical teacher, on 22 August 2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0142159X.2019.1652258