Purpose. The adoption of the integrated curriculum in medical schools has gained popularity over the last two decades entailing radical changes in methods of curriculum delivery. Limited cohort studies have attempted to compare students’ perspectives and academic achievement in both curricula. The purpose of this study was to compare students’ perceptions and academic achievement among medical students enrolled in an integrated curriculum and those enrolled in a traditional curriculum. Methods. A retrospective cohort study design was used. A structured questionnaire was administered to assess students’ perceptions of learning experiences among third-year medical students belonging to two successive cohorts: one enrolled in the Traditional Curriculum and the other enrolled in the Integrated Curriculum. Assessment of academic achievement was conducted at the end of each cohort’s final year in a quantitative manner using assessment plans and the program matrix. Independent sample t-test was used to identify the differences between the two groups. Results. Students enrolled in the integrated curriculum reported higher satisfaction scores with their learning experience. There were significant differences in favor of the integrated curriculum as regards students' perceived curiosity to investigate new ideas, perceived self-confidence, problem- solving skills, communication skills, interest in learning, perception of the value of their skills for their future career, and perceived teamwork skills. There was a significantly lower academic achievement in the knowledge domain in the traditional curriculum cohort while skills and attitudes domains were comparable. Discussion: Students enrolled in the integrated curriculum had an overall more positive perception towards their learning experiences than their counterparts in the traditional curriculum. The results also showed that students’ acquisition of knowledge was enhanced by the adoption of an integrated curriculum as shown by students’ academic achievement results.
Mohamed, Radwa Hamdi Bakr; Jarrar, Mu’taman; Abumadini, Mahdi Saeed; Al Elq, Abdulmohsen; Abusalah, Mai Abdel Haleem; Al-Bsheish, Mohammad; Alqahtani, Friyal Mubarak; and Rayani, Ahmad
"Student Perspectives and Academic Achievement in a Traditional versus an Integrated Curriculum: Evidence from a Medical School,"
Health Professions Education: Vol. 9:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://hpe.researchcommons.org/journal/vol9/iss4/3