Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2008

Full Length Research Paper

Learning environment in medical schools adopting different educational strategies

Mohammad Othman Al Rukban1*, Mahmoud Salah Khalil2 and Abdulmohsen Al-Zalabani3
  1Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Saudi Arabia. 3Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Saudi Arabia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 January 2010
  •  Published: 31 March 2010



Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) has adopted the problem based learning (PBL) curriculum. This study investigates the educational environment in the school, it also compares the educational environment prevailing in problem based learning curriculum with that of conventional and outcome based curricula. A cross sectional study included one hundred and thirty seven males and females medical students (years 1, 2 and 3). The students completed The Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory questionnaire at the end of the second semester. The data were compared between the studied groups and also with the similar data from conventional and outcome based curricula. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to compare between different groups and curricula. There were no significant differences in the scores of DREEM questionnaire between the studied groups (years 1, 2 and 3) within the Faculty of Medicine, KFMC. However, there were significant differences between the scores among the medical schools adopting PBL, conventional and outcome based curricula. DREEM scores of Faculty of Medicine at KFMC were significantly higher than the medical schools adopting conventional learning system in Saudi Arabia but were significantly lower than Medical School of Dundee University which adopts the outcome based learning. Educational strategy could be one of the factors that affect the educational environment. Problem based learning could be a better educational environment compared to conventional curriculum. However, the educational environment is not as good as that in schools adopting more innovative strategies of teaching such as that of the outcome based learning.
Key words: Problem based learning, curriculum, educational environment, DREEM inventory.