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Abstract

Purpose: Educational environment has a significant impact on students' behavior, academic progress and quality of learning. The aim of this study was to evaluate the students’ perception of their learning environment in an Indian physiotherapy college and compare their perceptions in terms of demographic attributes and academic level. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 420 undergraduate physiotherapy students. The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM), a 50-item, self-administered inventory was employed to assess the student’s perception of learning environment. It comprises of five domains: students’ perceptions of learning; students’ perceptions of teachers; students’ academic self-perceptions; students’ perceptions of atmosphere and students’ social self-perceptions. Descriptive statistics, t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyze data. P-value < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: The mean DREEM score was 122.66 ± 17.39 reflecting a more of positive than negative educational environment in this institution. There was a significant difference in the overall DREEM score (p = 0.000) based on the year of study with highest mean score in first year (127.57 ± 13.81). Evaluating the sub-domains of perception, the students in all the years had a more positive perception of learning (29.22 ± 5.35), their perception of teachers moved in the right direction (26.52 ± 5.05), their academic self-perception was more on the positive side (21.23± 3.72), they had a more positive perception of atmosphere (28.56± 5.64) and their social self-perception could be graded as not too bad (17.13 ±3.08). No significant gender difference was noted for overall DREEM score and all domain scores. Conclusion: The present study revealed that all undergraduate physiotherapy students perceived their educational environment positively. However, some areas require remedial measures in order to enhance the educational experience. Advocating problem-based learning, student mentorship, counseling and workshops on teaching-learning for teachers might enable us to enrich our learning environment.

Author Bio(s)

1. Prachita Walankar, MPTh, is an Assistant Professor, Department of Musculoskeletal Sciences in MGM College of Physiotherapy, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India.

2. Vrushali Panhale, MPT is a Professor, Department of Musculoskeletal Sciences in MGM College of Physiotherapy, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India

3. Sayli Situt, BPTh, is an intern in MGM College of Physiotherapy, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the students who participated in the study.

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