A survey on perception of homoeopathic undergraduate students towards learning environment in an Indian scenario
Keywords: education, homeopathy, learning, questionnaire, students
AbstractBackground and aims â€“ This research was an attempt to understand the views of students of homoeopathic undergraduate schools in West Bengal, India and to identify areas of strength and weakness in the learning environment. Methodology â€“ An institutional, cross-sectional, observational study was carried out involving 430 students in May, 2013 in two Government homoeopathic medical colleges in West Bengal, India. A seven-item close-ended questionnaire with four point Likert scale was used to determine studentsâ€™ perceptions of the learning environment, intellectual climate and teacher-student relationship in homoeopathic schools. The questionnaire generated seven subscales â€“ flexibility, student to student interaction, emotional climate, supportiveness, meaningful experience, organization, and breadth of interest. Results â€“ 46.5% of students belonged to rural areas and Bengali was the mother tongue of 93.7% students. 39.5% preferred Bengali as the medium of instruction and group study was preferable to 77.9% students. 47.7% students were dissatisfied with the teaching process and 79.8% preferred the use of multimedia over conventional classroom teaching. Flexibility remained low (mean=1.9, SD=0.9); meaningful experience (theoretical teaching) score was high (mean=2.6, SD=0.9). Scores did not vary significantly (P>0.05) across the pre-clinical and clinical students, but few subscales produced significant differences individually among students of different years. Internal consistency scores of the scale remained questionable (Cronbachâ€™s Î± 0.310-0.446); however, the scale showed acceptable test-retest reliability (Cohenâ€™s Îº 0.680-0.838). Conclusions â€“ This study emphasized the areas requiring improvement in homoeopathic school environment based on studentsâ€™ perspective. Changes in curriculum, faculty and infrastructure should be planned to improve studentsâ€™ satisfaction.