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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-53

Do perceptions about educational environment influence academic performance? A cross-sectional study of undergraduate medical students in Madurai, South India


1 Department of Community Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Senior Operational Research Fellow International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication14-Aug-2018

Correspondence Address:
Kathiresan Jeyashree
Department of Community Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai - 625 009, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.239048


How to cite this article:
Jeyashree K, Shewade HD, Kathirvel S, Sushmitha G. Do perceptions about educational environment influence academic performance? A cross-sectional study of undergraduate medical students in Madurai, South India. Educ Health 2018;31:52-3

How to cite this URL:
Jeyashree K, Shewade HD, Kathirvel S, Sushmitha G. Do perceptions about educational environment influence academic performance? A cross-sectional study of undergraduate medical students in Madurai, South India. Educ Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 May 19];31:52-3. Available from: https://www.educationforhealth.net/text.asp?2018/31/1/52/239048



Dear Editor,

Students' educational environment is one of the important factors affecting their learning. The environment provided to students has also been hypothesized to influence academic performance.[1],[2] Among medical undergraduates in a private medical college in Madurai, India, we measured the association between academic performance and perceptions about educational environment.

Medical students (n = 273) anonymously completed the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM), a self-administered questionnaire. DREEM focuses on five domains: students' perception of learning (SpoL), students' perception of teachers, academic self-perception (ASP), social self-perception, and students' perception of atmosphere.[3] University final examination scores, a composite measure of the summative and formative evaluation of students, were used as a measure of academic performance.

The mean overall DREEM score (117.35 ± 19.1) indicated that there were more positive points about the environment than negative. Females' SpoL (P = 0.004) and ASP (P = 0.008) were significantly higher than that of males. There were significantly more academic achievers among females as compared to males (54.5% vs. 37.6%, P = 0.008). The underachievers scored significantly lower (19.1 ± 4.31) than the achievers in the ASP domain (20.2 ± 4.21; P = 0.027) [Table 1]. There was a statistically significant, but weak, correlation between the academic scores and DREEM score.
Table 1: Items in Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure with significantly different scores between academic achievers and underachievers among undergraduate medical students in Madurai, India

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The academic underachievers felt that learning strategies which used to work for them earlier do not work now. In India, while learning in medical school is competency based, higher secondary school learning is more knowledge and memory based. Proper pre-course orientation and mentoring throughout the course may help the students adapt better to the newer teaching and learning styles in the medical curriculum. The underachievers also felt that the teaching did not encourage active learning or boost their confidence. Students and faculty need to be sensitized to self-directed learning and newer teaching methods that actively involve students must be adopted. The underachievers thought that the previous year's work was not an appropriate preparation for the current year. Increasing the number of integrated teaching sessions could help students view and understand subjects in medical school as essential parts of a whole.

DREEM can be used as a diagnostic and monitoring tool to obtain periodic feedback from students about teaching methods employed and perceived educational environment.[4],[5] Monitoring and evaluation of the ongoing mentorship program will help design the optimal educational environment for students and help achieve academic excellence.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sarwar S, Tarique S. Perception of educational environment: Does it impact academic performance of medical students? J Pak Med Assoc 2016;66:1210-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Mayya S, Roff S. Students' perceptions of educational environment: A comparison of academic achievers and under-achievers at Kasturba medical college, India. Educ Health (Abingdon) 2004;17:280-91.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Roff S. The dundee ready educational environment measure (DREEM) – A generic instrument for measuring students' perceptions of undergraduate health professions curricula. Med Teach 2005;27:322-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Till H. Identifying the perceived weaknesses of a new curriculum by means of the dundee ready education environment measure (DREEM) inventory. Med Teach 2004;26:39-45.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Finn Y, Avalos G, Dunne F. Positive changes in the medical educational environment following introduction of a new systems-based curriculum: DREEM or reality? Curricular change and the environment. Ir J Med Sci 2014;183:253-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    



 
 
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