Perspectives on teaching approaches and the grade point average attainment of undergraduate medical students at University of Zambia.

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Daka, Harrison
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International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education
Over the years since its inception, the University of Zambia, School of Medicine remained a premier academic institution that prided itself with exceptionally high outcomes and graduates of high caliber. However, despite such accolades, and during the course of the focus of this study from 2008 to 2016 there were low students Grade Point Average (GPA) among undergraduate programmes in the School of Medicine of the University of Zambia (Field data, 2018). In order to delve this issue, this study investigated the relationship between teaching approaches and the students’ GPA among undergraduate medical students trained at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine during the years from 2008 to 2016. A mixed methods approach involving qualitative and quantitative methods was employed to investigate the above mentioned issue. An explanatory sequential research design was used for data collection. Data were captured from using an evaluation survey instrument, students’ Focus Group Discussion schedule and an in - depth interview schedule for key informants regarding the GPA. 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 in the School of Medicine at the University of Zambia during the period under study: (a) there was inadequate teaching and learning (b) concepts were not explained in depth which led to students’ perceptions that courses were difficult. (c) 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). In conclusion, the study shows that low students’ GPA at the Medical School of the University of Zambia was due to among other things inappropriate teaching approaches. In view of these findings, the study recommends that enrolment of students should be dependent on availability of infrastructure and facility capacities and that the Department of Medical Education and Development (DMED) should consider organizing specific pedagogical training programmes for existing and newly employed academic staff. Keywords: Teaching approaches, Grade Point Average, Quality Teaching and Students outcomes
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Quality teaching and students outcomes--Zambia. , Educational tests and measurements--Zambia.