OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was twofold: (1) to compare the perceived educational environment at 2 points in time and (2) to longitudinally examine potential changes in perceptions of the educational environment over time.
METHODS: The validated Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM), a 50-item, self-administered Likert-type inventory, was used in this prospective study. Employing convenience sampling, undergraduate chiropractic students were investigated at 2 points in time: 2009 (n = 124) and 2012 (n = 127). An analysis of 2 matching samples was performed on 27% (n = 34) of the respondents in 2009.
RESULTS: A total of 251 students (79%) completed the inventory, 83% (n = 124) in 2009 and 75% (n = 127) in 2012. The overall DREEM scores in both years were excellent: 156 (78%) and 153 (77%), respectively. The students' perceptions of teachers differed significantly between the 2 cohort years, decreasing from 77% to 73%. Three items received deprived scores: limited support for stressed students, authoritarian teachers, and an overemphasis on factual learning; the latter significantly decreased in 2012. In the longitudinal sample these items also displayed scores below the expected mean.
CONCLUSION:Students viewed the educational environment as excellent both in 2009 and 2012. The perceptions of teachers declined with time; however, this could be attributed to teachers' new roles. Certain aspects of the educational environment factored prominently during the comparative points in time, as well as longitudinally, and these ought to be further investigated and addressed to provide an enhanced educational environment.
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