Evaluation of a biomedical science clinical training curriculum
The thesis is concerned with quality in clinical education. It explores issues pertaining to the effectiveness of a biomedical science clinical training program through an evaluation. The aim is to gather and analyze program data for the improvement of student learning. Mixed methods including self-completion questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to explore students' and clinical teachers' perceptions in the domains of clinical teaching, student learning, organization of the program and personal gain. Two questionnaires were developed for data collection on two consecutive cohorts of students of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and clinical teachers from various training hospitals. Interviews with laboratory managers were used to support quantitative data of the questionnaires. Analyses of data from the first cohort revealed some deficiencies in the program including communication of goals to students, practice opportunities, shortage of clinical teaching staff, lack of initiatives from students, and inadequate communication between academics and laboratory teaching staff in the first phase of the study. The findings were reported to both academic and clinical teachers. Measures were taken to resolve these issues such as a comprehensive pre placement briefing for the students, to encourage clinical teachers to adopt different teaching strategies to foster student learning. Post training perceptions between the two cohorts were not significantly different in the second phase of the study except a slightly higher rating in the category of practice opportunities. It appeared that the intervention had not produced large effects. However, the results with implications were presented to the university, hospitals and students for further enhancement of student learning. It is through this continuous feedback mechanism that effectiveness of the program can be sustained.