The continuous feedback model: Enabling student contribution to curriculum evaluation and development
Keywords:curriculum, feedback, physiotherapy
Introduction: Evaluation of curriculum is essential to its development. Typically, curriculum evaluations are conducted by end-of-course questionnaires, often resulting in a lengthy delay in implementing improvements that no longer affect the students who completed the evaluation. This study investigated a continuous real-time curricula feedback model as a novel method more appropriate for simultaneous evaluation and improvement of our integrated physiotherapy courses than typical end-of-course evaluation.
Methods: A mixed methods design involving concurrent qualitative (focus group interviews, anonymous comments in a “suggestion” box, qualitative survey comments) and quantitative (survey) approaches was used to regularly collect staff (n = 20) and students’ (n = 127) perceptions of a full-year course. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively, and qualitative responses were collated and categorised. The analysed data were fed back to staff and students in the form of a feedback report sent out via email after each module. The report incorporated a summary of the results and the changes to be actioned within the next module.
Results: We found the new model to be helpful and liked by both staff and students. Students liked that they could see change as a result of their feedback. Staff felt it should be used in conjunction with the typical end-of-course evaluation, although they found the periodic student feedback reports helpful.Conclusions: The continuous feedback model, although it does not eliminate the need for a formal end-of-year quantitative evaluation, did provide useful qualitative information, a safe environment for student feedback and the opportunity to correct issues in the curriculum as they arise.
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