Curriculum Components of Virtual Programs at a Medical University: The Students' Perspective

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Department of Education, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran

Abstract

Background: The design quality of a virtual program is highly instrumental to the success of that programs. Accordingly, proper curriculum planning in virtual universities necessitates the integration of specialized features in the design and codification of curriculums. Despite the central role of virtual curriculums in higher education, one can hardly find relevant literature on this topic in Iran’s medical universities. The present study sought to assess the students’ opinions about the features of the curriculum offered for virtual programs at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), in Tehran, Iran. Methods: A descriptive-survey was performed in the first half of 2019-2020 academic year. The statistical population included 150 students attending the virtual programs at TUMS. Among them, 108 were selected by stratified random sampling and 102 responded to the questionnaire. The research instrument was the questionnaire for virtual teaching curriculums created by Azizi et al., and its reliability stood at 0.90 as measured by Cronbach’s alpha. Results: The findings revealed that the students’ opinions about the objectives (M=3.97, SD=0.07), content (M=3.10, SD=0.24), educational software (M=3.03, SD=0.31), interaction (M=3.18, SD=0.34), assessment (M=3.29, SD=0.42) and the overall quality of the curriculums (M=3.70, SD=0.39) at TUMS were rated above the average score in each category. Conclusion: From the students’ perspective, the overall quality of the curriculum developed for the virtual courses at TUMS was found to be at a desirable level (above average).

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