A focused evaluation of ethics education in Glasgow University's new medical curriculum, 1996-2001
The introduction of the new Glasgow medical curriculum provided an opportunity for evaluation of ethics education in the context of a modern curriculum. The constraints imposed prevented a comprehensive evaluation of ethics teaching in the new curriculum. Its focus had to be narrowed. This thesis builds on a dissertation submitted for a MMEd Degree at Dundee University, which covered the evaluation of ethics education in the first year of the new curriculum and produced the first three papers in the series being presented. It was decided to perform both process and outcome evaluation in year 1, where the largest proportion of formal curricular ethics sessions takes place. Outcome evaluation continued throughout the curriculum. The aims of the first year process evaluation were: 1) To judge the value of the curricular experiences provided for students in terms of: a) Acceptability to both students and tutors. b) Feasibility. c) Relevance of material to aims of teaching. 2) To judge the effectiveness of clinical tutors as facilitators of learning. The aim of the outcome evaluation was to test the following hypotheses: 1. Small group ethics teaching, in the first year of an integrated medical curriculum, will have a positive impact on students’ potential behaviour when facing ethical dilemmas. 2. The effect will be greater than that produced by a discrete lecture and large group teaching based course early in a traditional curriculum. 3. Students’ performance will be adversely affected as they progress through the medical curriculum. 4. The effect will be less pronounced in students undertaking the modern curriculum compared to those undertaking the traditional curriculum.