Background: Students and faculty members should work together as partners in the present era of modern medical education. Many medical schools across the globe are seeking excellence in medical education, including excellence in student engagement.
Objective: The current study aimed to explore Saudi medical students’ perceptions regarding the Association for Medical Education in Europe’s (AMEE) ASPIRE criteria for excellence in student engagement.
Design: A cross-sectional study targeting Saudi medical students from the five main universities in Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire was designed based on the AMEE’s ASPIRE criteria for recognition of excellence in student engagement. Data were collected via SurveyMonkesy and analyzed using SPSS (Version 20). Twenty-three randomly selected medical students from Imam University were interviewed as well.
Results: Seventy-six percent (n=759) of students completed the survey. In general, Saudi medical students supported the ASPIRE criteria for student engagement. Students with the highest GPA (4.5–5) constituted 44% of students supporting excellence in student engagement. Students in medical schools using problem-based learning (PBL) agreed more than did those who did not follow a PBL curriculum. Most of the students at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud University (87.8%) agreed that students should be formally and informally involved in peer-assisted teaching. The highest percentage of students who agreed was from Imam University as compared to the other four universities (P = 0.0001).
Conclusion: Saudi medical students support student engagement criteria as stated in the ASPIRE Awards criteria for excellence in student engagement. A significant proportional relationship was observed between increments in GPA and support of student engagement activities. The current study may encourage all colleagues around the world to implement the concept of “student engagement” in their universities. Additional studies should be conducted worldwide to seek international medical students’ perceptions regarding student engagement.
Keywords: student engagement, student involvement, excellence in medical education, ASPIRE award, Saudi Arabia
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