Student-perceived exam difficulty may trump the effects of different quality improvement measures regarding the students' evaluation of a pediatric lecture series.

BMC Med Educ 2019 Jun 13;19(1):206. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Center for Pediatrics - Department of general pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and neonatology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Background: Lectures are still an important part of today's medical education at many medical schools. The pediatric lecture series at the Center for Pediatrics, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany had been evaluated poorly in recent terms.

Methods: To improve lecture quality and possibly evaluation results a combination of measures consisting of peer lecturer coaching, use of an audience response system, in depth analysis of the end of term evaluation results and changes to the exam itself were implemented.

Results: Peer lecturer coaching was performed successfully and both the audience response system evaluation as well as the end of term evaluation results improved significantly in the following term. Analysis of the students' comments revealed more approval of lecture content and presentation after the organization of the lecture series was changed towards less lecturers and focus on less topics. Student-perceived high exam difficulty influenced the evaluation negatively.

Conclusion: The student-perceived exam difficulty can supersede the effects of different measures to improve lecture quality measured via evaluation. Whether better evaluation of the lecture series after different improvement measures was due to better match of the curriculum with the exam content or that an improved curriculum led to better exam performance remains to be elucidated.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12909-019-1654-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567627PMC
June 2019
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