Course managing, teaching and assessing undergraduates at the Medical School of the University of Zambia
Banda, Sekelani S
Namafe, Charles M
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There has been high examination attrition rates and low student Grade Point Average among undergraduate programmes in the School of Medicine of the University of Zambia. Such a situation was cause for concern and, therefore this study investigated the relationship among course management, teaching approaches and assessment processeson one hand, and high examination attrition rates and low Grade Point Average (GPA) for undergraduate medical students trained at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine, on the other. A mixed methods approach involving qualitative and quantitative methods was employed to investigate the above mentioned issues. Anexploratory sequential research design was used for data collection. Data were captured using two related sets of instruments. The first was an evaluation survey instrument on the Teaching and Learning of undergraduate programmes in the School of Medicine and document analysis. The second was a students’ Focus Group Discussion schedule and an in - depth interview schedule for key informants regarding the GPA and examination attritions. Results of the two sets were compared. Quantitative data from the first set were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics while qualitative data from the second set were analysed using constant comparative method. The study revealed that the following contributed to low GPA and high examination attrition rates in the School of Medicine: (a) there was inadequate teaching and learning spaces and inadequate information technology support. (b) there was significant statistical difference in the workload in all courses among the various programmes (p = 0.000, F = 4, 596, df = 8.53) which were heavy, with little time allocated to them. The majority (92%) of MB ChB respondents and BSc Env respondents (75%) stated that the workload was heavy. (c) concepts were not explained in depth which led to students’ perceptions that courses were difficult. (d) despite having well qualified lecturers (54.7%) students were not availed with handbooks (62.6%) and course curriculum (53%).There was no significant statistical difference among the programmes (p = .663, F = 4, 596, df = .600). (e) there was no timely feedback (47.8%) and, where it was done, it lacked guiding comments (48%). (f)in some cases (28.8%) assessment tasks were misaligned with learning objectives. In conclusion, the study shows that low students’ GPA and high examination attrition rates at the Medical School of the University of Zambia were due to poor course management, inappropriate teaching approaches and improper assessment processes. In view of these findings, the study recommends that: • Enrolment of students should be dependent on availability of infrastructure and facility capacities. • Course contents (i. e. curricular) should be reviewed to be in accordance with the time allocated to them. • Assessment tasks should be aligned with learning objectives. • Feedback should be given to students on time and should be detailed. • The Department of Medical Education and Development (DMED) should consider organizing specific pedagogical training programmes for existing and newly employed academic staff.
CitationHarrison Daka, et al, "Course Managing, Teaching and Assessing Undergraduates at the Medical School of the University of Zambia." International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE), vol 4, no. 10, 2017, pp. 10-18
International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE)
Grade Point Average