Students’ perspectives of undergraduate research methods education at three public medical schools in Uganda

  • Ian Guyton Munabi
  • William Buwembo
  • Ruberwa Joseph
  • Kawungezi Peter
  • Francis Bajunirwe
  • Erisa Sabakaki Mwaka

Abstract

Introduction: in this study we used a model of adult learning to explore undergraduate students’ views on how to improve the teaching of research methods and biostatistics. Methods: this was a secondary analysis of survey data of 600 undergraduate students from three medical schools in Uganda. The analysis looked at student’s responses to an open ended section of a questionnaire on their views on undergraduate teaching of research methods and biostatistics. Qualitative phenomenological data analysis was done with a bias towards principles of adult learning. Results: students appreciated the importance of learning research methods and biostatistics as a way of understanding research problems; appropriately interpreting statistical concepts during their training and post-qualification practice; and translating the knowledge acquired. Stressful teaching environment and inadequate educational resource materials were identified as impediments to effective learning. Suggestions for improved learning included: early and continuous exposure to the course; more active and practical approach to teaching; and a need for mentorship. Conclusion: the current methods of teaching research methods and biostatistics leave most of the students in the dissonance phase of learning resulting in none or poor student engagement that results in a failure to comprehend and/or appreciate the principles governing the use of different research methods.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24

Author Biographies

Ian Guyton Munabi
Department of Human Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
William Buwembo
Department of Human Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
Ruberwa Joseph
Medical student, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda
Kawungezi Peter
Medical student, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda
Francis Bajunirwe
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
Erisa Sabakaki Mwaka
Department of Human Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
Published
2016-09-03
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1937-8688