Medical / Technology / Education feed
Background Curriculum viability is determined by the degree to which quality standards have or have not been met, and by the inhibitors that affect attainment of those standards. The literature reports many ways to evaluate whether a curriculum reaches its quality standards, but less attention is paid to the identification of viability inhibitors in different areas of the curriculum that hamper the attainment of quality. The purpose of this study is to develop and establish the reliability and validity of questionnaires that measure the presence of inhibitors in an undergraduate medical curriculum. Methods Teacher and student questionnaires developed by the authors were sent to medical educationalists for qualitative expert validation and to establish their content validity. To establish the response process validity, cognitive interviews were held with teachers and students to clarify any confusion about the meaning of items in the questionnaires. Reliability and construct validity of the questionnaires were established by responses from 575 teachers and 247 final-year medical students. Results Qualitative expert validation was provided by 21 experts. The initial teacher and student questionnaires containing respectively 62 items to measure 12 theoretical constructs, and 28 items to measure 7 constructs, were modified to improve their clarity and relevance. The overall scale validity index for the questionnaires was, in order, .95 and .94. Following the cognitive interviews, the resultant teacher and student questionnaires were reduced to respectively 52 and 23 items. Furthermore, after the confirmatory analysis, the final version of the teacher questionnaire was reduced to 25 items to measure 6 constructs and the student questionnaire was reduced to 14 items to measure 3 constructs. Good-for-fit indices were established for the final model and Cronbach alphas of, in order, .89 and .81 were found for the teacher and student questionnaire. Conclusion The valid and reliable curriculum viability inhibitor questionnaires for teachers and students developed in this study can be used by medical schools to identify inhibitors to achieve standards in different areas of the curriculum.