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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-67

Evaluation of medical education programs: Need, scope, and tools

1 Vice - Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission29-Sep-2019
Date of Decision22-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance04-Nov-2019
Date of Web Publication03-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh Ram Bihari Lal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_42_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Evaluation of medical education programs: Need, scope, and tools. Curr Med Issues 2020;18:66-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Evaluation of medical education programs: Need, scope, and tools. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 7];18:66-7. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2020/18/1/66/277522

In the current era of medical education delivery, a significant proportion of medical teachers have resorted to different forms of alternative teaching strategies or assessment process instead of the conventional forms of teaching–learning. This has been done with a solitary aim to enhance and expand the range of learning outcomes which will aid in making of a competent doctor in the future.[1]

However, it is quite obvious that not all innovations unanimously account for the enhancement in learning of students and that is the reason for which we have to systematically design a framework of evaluation to eventually assess the influence of new curricula or teaching methods or assessment methods on student learning.[1],[2] Evaluation is an integral component of any program and the same applies to even in the field of medical education.[1]

It is very important to understand that the process of evaluation should not only assess the input (curriculum, medical students, faculty members, etc.) but also the process and the outcome (quality and competence level of medical graduates).[2],[3] The evaluation process can target curriculum (viz. development, suitability, outcomes, etc.), teaching and learning (identifying areas of inadequate teaching and feedback to teachers), assessment (like development and use of assessment tools and appropriateness of assessment strategies), and administrative issues such as drafting of future medical education policies.[1],[2],[3]

Evaluation of a teaching innovative strategy can be acknowledged as a systematic attempt to assess the effect of an educational initiative or innovation on student learning.[3] In order to measure the success of the teaching strategy, it can be assessed by evidence suggestive of improvement of some kind in student learning.[3] In other words, a teaching strategy is considered effective provided it meets the intended outcomes.[3]

The process of evaluation aids us to understand whether the delivered curriculum is in the right direction to meet the needs of the students, the institution, and also the society.[2],[3] In addition, it aids in the identification of areas that require improvement and allocation of faculty members and also in the development of effective curriculum.[1],[2] Further, the issues pertaining to the logistics, conducive class environment, aptitude of teachers, satisfaction of teachers and faculty members, stress levels among teachers/students, mentoring, and responsiveness to students' opinions and concerns can also be understood.[1],[2],[3],[4]

A wide range of methods, both quantitative and qualitative methods, have been employed to evaluate different dimensions of medical education including interviews, surveys, focus group discussion, inference drawn from the assessment of students' performance, students' feedback, reflections from different stakeholders, and direct/indirect observation.[2],[3],[4] Moreover, tools are available to assess the core competencies desired of a medical graduate, including knowledge (such as essay, short note, and multiplechoice questions), skill (like objective structured clinical examination), and attitudinal (viz. multisource feedback) competencies.[3],[4]

Another very important tool to evaluate any medical education program/initiative is through the employment of four levels of Kirkpatrick evaluation.[5] In the surgical specialties, simulationbased evaluation can be employed to not only assess the handson experience but also the improvement in the surgical skills of the students and financial implications.[6],[7] In the evaluation process with the help of all the above tools, data are collected and then a comprehensive analysis is done.[2],[4] The results provide valuable feedback about the different aspects, including the design and implementation of the program.[2],[3] Based on the feedback, it gives an opportunity for different stakeholders to take corrective measures and improve the process of curriculum delivery.[4] A wide range of methods such as employment of a questionnaire for assessing the quality of bedside teaching or conduction of assessment for the gain in knowledge or even Delphi method have been used for the evaluation of different initiatives in medical education.[8],[9],[10] Similar methods can be employed in the Indian setup for planning and conducting the evaluation.[8],[9],[10]

In conclusion, evaluation in medical education is a systematic approach to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum delivery. Keeping in mind the fact that medical education must meet high standards, evaluation is an indispensable dimension of medical education.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Sandars J. It is time to celebrate the importance of evaluation in medical education. Int J Med Educ 2018;9:158-60.  Back to cited text no. 1
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employing a systematic approach to conduct program evaluation in medical education. CHRISMED J Health Res 2019;6:176-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
Yang XF, Talmy T, Zhu CH, Li PF, Wang W, Zhang P, et al. Evaluation of teaching and learning: A basis for improvement in medical education. Chin Med J (Engl) 2017;130:1259-60.  Back to cited text no. 3
Balmer DF, Rama JA, Simpson D. Program evaluation models: Evaluating processes and outcomes in graduate medical education. J Grad Med Educ 2019;11:99-100.  Back to cited text no. 4
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Evidence-based medicine workshop for teaching faculty of a medical college: Kirkpatrick level 1 evaluation. Int J Acad Med 2018;4:289-94.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
Pugh CM, Arafat FO, Kwan C, Cohen ER, Kurashima Y, Vassiliou MC, et al. Development and evaluation of a simulation-based continuing medical education course: Beyond lectures and credit hours. Am J Surg 2015;210:603-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
Lin Y, Cheng A, Hecker K, Grant V, Currie GR. Implementing economic evaluation in simulation-based medical education: Challenges and opportunities. Med Educ 2018;52:150-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
Dreiling K, Montano D, Poinstingl H, Müller T, Schiekirka-Schwake S, Anders S, et al. Evaluation in undergraduate medical education: Conceptualizing and validating a novel questionnaire for assessing the quality of bedside teaching. Med Teach 2017;39:820-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Li B, Curts D, Iordanous Y, Proulx A, Sharan S. Evaluation of Canadian undergraduate ophthalmology medical education at Western University. Can J Ophthalmol 2016;51:373-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Shewade HD, Jeyashree K, Kalaiselvi S, Palanivel C, Panigrahi KC. Competency-based tool for evaluation of community-based training in undergraduate medical education in India – A Delphi approach. Adv Med Educ Pract 2017;8:277-86.  Back to cited text no. 10


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