Assessment of the educational environment of physiotherapy students at the University of Rwanda using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM)
Background. Getting students’ feedback regarding their experience of their educational environment (EE) is important.
Objectives. To explore how physiotherapy students at the University of Rwanda (UR) feel about their EE.
Methods. A descriptive quantitative cross-sectional study design with a census sampling strategy involving all physiotherapy students at UR was used. The Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure was administered to 77 physiotherapy students in March 2015, to collect data that were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20 (IBM Corp., USA). The frequency distribution, mean, standard deviation and percentages were calculated, and the χ2 test was performed to assess whether responses showed significant variance according to level of study and gender. The level of significance (p-value) was set at 0.05.
Results. The overall mean score on the 50 items was 62.20%. Students’ perception of learning scored the highest, with 66.58%, followed by students’ perception of atmosphere with 65.08%, students’ perception of teachers with 61.11% and students’ academic self-perception with 57.78%. The domain of students’ social self-perception scored the least, with 56.50%. All the domains scored positively toward the EE. There was no significant difference between male and female students, or between first-, second-, third- and fourth-year students regarding their perceptions of the EE.
Conclusion. The physiotherapy students perceived UR as providing a sound EE. However, the data showed that there is a need for improvement in all five subscales of the learning environment at UR. Similar studies from other academic programmes at UR and other academic institutions in Rwanda are encouraged.
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