Perceptions of the undergraduate medical students about their engagement in curriculum development.
The student’s engagement in curriculum development is necessary and important, as this has direct effect on their academic performance. The positive feedback and criticism given by the students when engaged contributes to the development and changes in the curriculum. Objectives: To explore the perceptions of the under-graduate medical students about their engagement in the curriculum development. Study Design: A qualitative study. Setting: Two private medical colleges in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Period: From 1st January 2018 to 30th June 2018. Material and Methods: Seven open ended questions were developed after literature search and were authenticated by three faculty members. After pilot testing, necessary changes were made in guiding questions. Four Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with final year students, two from public and two from private medical colleges of Peshawar. The FGDs were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were reviewed after each session and triangulation of data was done. Data was analyzed and themes were identified. Results: A total of 36 participants were included in FGDs. Four themes that emerged were “Increased interest of students in studies” indicating that the curriculum should be planned according to their priorities and co-curricular activities should be encouraged; “educational reforms” indicating that there is a need for improvement in the teaching style of the faculty,; “improved communication” indicating effective communication between the faculty and students; “favorable academic environment” indicating self-confidence of the students and good working relationship between students and faculty for producing conducive environment. Conclusion: The concept of engaging the students in planning the curriculum and extracurricular activities needs to be further structured. Academic workload and time constraints may be reduced when students are engaged in curriculum development.