Evaluating Educational Environments of Medical Programme: A Qualitative study

  • Kye Mon Min Swe
  • Amit Bhardwaj


Educational environment refers to the climate of where the learning happens and plays an important role in student’s academic achievement, satisfaction and success.  The evaluation of educational environment is important to identify strengths and weaknesses of educational programme. Objective of the study was to explore the perceptions of educational environment among preclinical and clinical year medical students of University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). The qualitative study was conducted among medical students of UTAR. Focus group discussion was conducted to explore the strength and weakness of educational environment. The data were analyzed by content analysis. The interview protocol was developed based on the Dundee Ready Environmental evaluation Measure (DREEM) and weak areas of the results of quantitative study were explored further. For the domain, student’s perceptions of learning, both preclinical and clinical years students enjoyed their learning as they were encouraged to participate in class and teaching helped to develop their competence. However, preclinical year students preferred more discussion than factual learning during lecture classes. For the domain, student’s perceptions of teaching, both clinical and preclinical year students perceived that the teachers are knowledgeable, and well prepared for their classes. But clinical year students perceived that that the clinical teachers were more authoritarian compare to preclinical year students and they experienced that the teachers angry in the classes because of the student’s presentation and question and answer sessions. For the domain,  student’s academic self-perceptions, both preclinical and clinical year student were satisfied with their academic learning activities but the preclinical year students were less confident about passing the exam compare to clinical year students because of a lot of new things to study. They also thought that they had to memorize more of the subject than understanding because of the subjects are more factual learning. Regarding the domain, students’ perception of atmosphere, both preclinical and clinical year student felt comfortable that the atmosphere was motivative and relaxed but clinical students prefer the timetable to be well prepared and more welcoming clinical environment. For the domain, students’ social self-perception, both preclinical and clinical year students believed that they had good friends in class and satisfied with their social life. The concern for clinical year students was that they all busy with clinical work and less time to study and could not enjoy the course compare to the preclinical years. Both preclinical and clinical year students thought that the student support system is not effective enough for them to solve the problem. In conclusion it was recommended that the weak area of educational environment reported by students should be monitored closely and maintain an educational environment that would satisfy for all MBBS students.


ACGME. (2010a. Accreditation council for graduate medical education: glossary of terms. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Available from: http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/about/ ab_ACGMEglossary.pdf
Abraham, R., Ramnarayan, K., Vinod, P., Torke, S. (2008) Students’ perceptions of learning environment in an Indian medical school. BMC Med Educ,8:20.
Al-Ayed, I.H., Sheik, S.A. (2008) Assessment of the educational environment at the College of Medicine of King Saud University, Riyadh. Eastern Mediterranean Health J.14(4),953–959.
Al-Hazimi, A., Al-Hyiani, A., Roff, S. (2004a) Perceptions of the educational environment of the medical school in King Abdul Aziz University, Saudia Arabia. Med Teach,26(6), 570–573.
Al-naggar, R. A., Abdulghani, M., Osman M.T., Al-Kubaisy, W., Daher, A.M. (2014)The Malaysia DREEM: perceptions of medical students about the learning environment in a medical school in Malaysia. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 5 (1), 177–184.
Arzuman, H., Hasan, M.N., Elsersi, M.M., Islam, M.N., Sareemini, Daniel, M., Khan, S.A. (2017) Preclinical medical students’ perception about their educational environment based on DREEM at a Private University, Malaysia. Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science, 16 (4), 496-504
Audin K, Davy J, Barkham M. (2003) University quality of life and learning: an approachto student wellbeing, satisfaction and institutional change. J Further High Educ, 27(4), 365-82.
Cook, D.A. (2010) Twelve tips for evaluating educational programs. Med Teach ,32:2, 96–301
Crawford, K. (1996). Vygotskian approaches in human development in the information era. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 31(1-2), 43-62
Dunne, F.S., McAleer, S., Roff, S. (2006) Assessment of the undergraduate medical education environment in a large UK medical school. Health Educ J, 65(2), 149–158.
Edgren, G., Haffling, A., Jakobsson, U., McAleer, S., Danielsen, N. (2010) Comparing the educational environment (as measured by DREEM) at two different stages of curriculum reform. Med Teach , 32, e233–e238.
Edgerton, E., McKechnie, J., McEwen, S. (2010). Students’ perceptions of their school environments and the relationship with educational outcomes. Educational and Child Psychology, 28(1),33-45
Farajpour, A., Raisolsadat, M.A., Moghadham, S.S., Mostafavian, Z. (2017) Perception of educational environment among undergraduate students of health diciplines in an Iranian University. International journal of medical education, 8, 300-306.
Fidelma, D., McAleer, S., Roff, S. (2006) Assessment of the undergraduate medical education environment in a large UK medical school. Health Educ J, 65(2), 149–58.
Genn, J.M. (2001). AMEE Medical Education Guide No 23 (Part 1): curriculum environment, climate, quality and change in medical education—a unifying perspective. Medical Teacher, 23, 337-344.
Goldie, J. (2006) AMEE education guide no. 29: Evaluating educational programmes. Med Teach, 28, 210–224.
Hassan II. (2007) A study of stressors and coping strategies among first year nursing students in the College of Polytech Mara, Kota Bharu, Kelantan [master’s thesis]. Kota Bharu: Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Hutchinson, L. (2003) ABC of learning and teaching Educational Environment. BMJ, 326(7393),810-2.
Jiffry, M.T., McAleer, S., Fernando, S., Marasinghe, R.B. Using the DREEM questionnaire to gather baseline information on an evolving medical school in Sri Lanka. Med Teach, 2005;27(4), 348–52
Khan (2019) Medical student Perception of educational environment in iabf University Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family and Community Medicine, 45-50
Mandl, H., Reinmann-Rothmeier, G. (2001) Environments for Learning. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
McAleer, S. & Roff, S. (2001). A practical guide to using the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM). AMEE Education Guide No 23, Curriculum, environment, climate, quality and change in medical education: a unifying perspective, J.M. GENN (Ed.) (Dundee, UK: Association of Medical Education in Europe).
Miles, S., Leinster, S.J. (2009) Comparing staff and student perceptions of the student experience at a new medical school. Med Teach, 2009;31(6), 539–46.
Miles, S., Swift, L., Leinster, S.J. (2012) The Dundee ready education environment measure (DREEM):a review of its adoption and use. Med Teach, 34(9)
Pai, G.P., Menezes, V., Srikanth, Subramanian, A.M., Shenoy, J.P.(2014) Medical Students’ Perception of Their Educational Environment. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 8(1), 103-107, Pg 1.
Roff S. (2005) The Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM)– a generic instrument for measuring students’ perceptions of undergraduate health professions curricula. Med Teach, 27(4), 322–325.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2008). Self-Determination Theory: A Macro theory of Human Motivation, Development, and Health. Canadian Psychology, 49(3), 182–185.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. Readings on the development of children, 23(3), 34-41.
Zamzuri, A.T., Ali, A.N., Roff, S., McAleer, S. (2004) Students perceptions of the educational environment at dental training college. Malaysian Dent J, 25:15–26.
How to Cite
MIN SWE, Kye Mon; BHARDWAJ, Amit. Evaluating Educational Environments of Medical Programme: A Qualitative study. International Journal of Advanced Research in Education and Society, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 3, p. 118-126, oct. 2021. ISSN 2682-8138. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/ijares/article/view/15694>. Date accessed: 03 dec. 2021.