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Delectus - Scientific Journal, Inicc-Perú - [ISSN: 2663-1148]




Vol. 6 No. 2 (2023): July-December [Edit closure: 31/07/2023]

RECEIVED: 20/05/2023 | ACCEPTED: 30/06/2023 | PUBLISHED: 31/07/2023

Suggested quote (APA, seventh edition)

Bellotti, M., Tognetti, C., & Guaresti, G. (2023). Evaluation of teaching practices according to the perception of medical students, National University of Río Negro. Delectus, 6(2),25-34.

Evaluation of teaching practices according to the perception of medical students, National University of Río Negro

Mariela Bellotti

Career of Medicine, National University of Río Negro, Andina Headquarters, Argentina

Celia Tognetti

Career of Medicine, National University of Río Negro, Andina Headquarters, Argentina

German Guaresti

Career of Medicine, National University of Río Negro, Andina Headquarters, Argentina

In this study, the general objective was to establish the perception of applicants to the Medicine course at the Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Sede Andina, located in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Patagonia Argentina; about certain teaching practices carried out by the university professors responsible for the teaching and learning methods of the entrance course to this course. The design of the study was non-experimental, cross-sectional and descriptive. An anonymous printed survey was used as a data collection tool. The study sample consisted of 74 students who took this face-to-face stage in the year 2023. The results of the study reveal that most of the students perceived the teaching practice in relation to the face-to-face classes, the virtual classroom and the integration classes as very good, which indicates a positive approach to the conceptual paradigm of evaluation as an instrument to improve the teaching and learning process. In conclusion, it has been determined that the work carried out by the teachers who were part of the medical school entrance course was of high quality, which is directly related to the purpose of improving the level of quality in university teaching.

Keywords: perception; students; teacher; teaching practice; evaluation.

The praxis of the exercise of university teaching used to be based on an educational model centered on indoctrination and on the figure of the professor, with the main objective of transferring knowledge (Seivane & Brenlla, 2021). Each educator became the center of the teaching and learning processes, being the only one knowledgeable in the subject matter exposed in the classroom (Gargallo López et al., 2017). However, currently, educational models have changed and focus on learning and on the student, who becomes the main protagonist of his or her own learning process (Hamer Flores, 2013; Jiménez Hernández et al., 2020; Seivane & Brenlla, 2021). Likewise, the fundamental role of university teachers as pillars of universities is recognized; therefore, evaluating the functions they perform becomes an imperative need that allows improving the quality of teaching and learning processes.

Starting from the term "evaluation", which is closely related to education and encompasses the possibility of evaluating everything and everyone, from the educational institution, the curriculum, subject programs, students, teachers and learning, among others, we understand that evaluation in itself does not generate changes, but it does contribute to take positions and facilitates the establishment of priorities based on more accurate judgments.

One of the obstacles to developing evaluations of teaching work in general, and in particular of teachers who are part of university entrance courses, is the lack of evaluation culture and the inherent resistance to the process. At the same time, we are aware that university teacher evaluation processes are not as adequate as they should be, considering the complexity and multiplicity of aspects and variables that should be taken into account.

The evaluation of teaching work, according to several authors, is directly linked to aspects such as institutional decision-making in relation to political, administrative and academic issues (López Cámara, 2014). Other authors posit that it "provides teachers with sources of feedback that can have a positive impact on their identity and personal satisfaction, and, therefore, on the improvement of their teaching practices" (Coppola, 2012, p. 1). From the above, it follows that teaching is conceived as a set of actions that involves planning, designing, organizing and coordinating classes, in addition to monitoring and evaluating the overall performance of students in direct relation to the defined objectives and competencies. Therefore, it can be stated that educational quality is directly related to the quality of the teaching offered (Marino et al., 1998).

On the other hand, the evaluation process itself has been perceived as a challenging process in terms of postures. However, it should also be an opportunity for reflection on the part of teachers, and this reflection should be aimed at enhancing student learning. Therefore, in the process of evaluating teacher performance by the institution, a tolerant perspective should be adopted. It is through the information gathered and the opinions expressed by the student body that the management of the course and the teachers can be oriented towards educational improvement and the enhancement of academic work. In this context, the process of evaluation of the teaching practice of the professors who are part of the staff of the entrance course to the Medical School of the University of Río Negro (UNRN), Andean Campus, located in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina, is important. This process has the potential to provide strategic information from which both teachers and authorities can make the necessary decisions in planning improvements.

The UNRN Medical School has an admission process consisting of two phases, in accordance with UNRN Resolution CSDE and VE No. 0042 (2020). The first phase is a virtual course of Introduction to University Life, which is mandatory for all students enrolled in any career at UNRN. The second phase is an entrance course specific to the Medicine career, which is divided into three stages.

The first stage is the Pre-University Course (CPU), which has a total duration of 40 hours and is carried out virtually. It is mandatory and consists of self-learning activities, tutorials and the completion and presentation of text comprehension and field work. The UNRN Bimodal Campus is used as a support platform. This course is passed by completing the proposed assignments and is not graded with a numerical scale, but allows the student to advance to the next stage.

The second stage is the Introduction to the Medical Career Course (CIM), which has an hourly load of 120 hours and is face-to-face and mandatory. This course provides an introduction to the career and strengthens knowledge in the subjects of Mathematics, Biology and Health and Society. It also includes a weekly space for the integration of this knowledge. The objective of this stage is directly related to the importance of interdisciplinarity in health education and the integration of knowledge. The stage culminates with a summative written evaluation, which is passed with at least 60% of valid answers in the final exam.

The third stage is the Multiple Mini Interviews (MEM), which evaluate non-cognitive aspects related to the graduate's profile. This evaluation method consists of a series of short interviews at different stations. At each station, an interviewer poses a situation and the interviewee responds. The interviewer awards a score using a rubric that considers performance in various competencies, such as critical thinking, ethical thinking and teamwork. Once all the interviews have been completed, the scores for each candidate are calculated and averaged.

With the results of the last two stages, an order of priority is established and those in that order are admitted to the career of Medicine until the quota established by the UNRN is completed, as established in Resolution CSDE and VE N° 0042 of the UNRN (2020).

In this work, the objective was to determine the perception of applicants to the Medicine course at the Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Sede Andina, located in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, province of Río Negro, Patagonia Argentina, on the skills of university teachers who are part of the entrance course to the Medicine course and who are responsible for the teaching and learning processes of the applicants.

The method used in this study was quantitative, experimental, cross-sectional, descriptive and applied. The number of students who started the second face-to-face stage was 132, and of these, 87 students completed it. Therefore, the sample at the time of delivery of the survey consisted of a total of 87 students. The target population of the study was 74 students aspiring to the UNRN Medical School. The sampling used was non-probabilistic.

The development of this research followed the following order: first, the survey was designed based on the form of Luna et al. (2012), which is structured, with closed questions, self-administered and delimits the construct to be measured. The content of the survey was validated through the collaboration and judgment of experts, and a pilot test was conducted with undergraduate students. The survey was anonymous, voluntary and applicants were asked about their consent to participate before starting the survey. International research ethics guidelines were followed and authorization was obtained from the Ethics and Evaluation Commission of Human Health Research Projects of the Ministry of Health of the Province of Río Negro, Argentina (Res. 6137-22).

The survey addressed questions related to Mathematics, Health and Society and Biology classes, the use of the virtual classroom in each of these subjects and integration classes. A 5-category Likert scale was used for responses, ranging from "never" to "always" (1 to 5 respectively). The printed survey was administered at the end of the mandatory, face-to-face Introduction to Medicine Course (CIM). Students answered the questions and deposited the survey in envelopes provided in each classroom.

Next, the analysis of the reliability or internal consistency of the questionnaire was performed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, evaluating the alpha values obtained for all the items (total alpha) and for each subscale. The Excel program was used for data processing and analysis, and the corresponding statistical analyses were carried out.

Table 1 shows the items consulted in relation to the classes and virtual classroom of Mathematics, Health and Society and Biology of the Introduction to Medicine Course. The results are shown on a range of 1 to 5 on a Likert scale, where 1 represents "total disagreement" and 5 represents "total agreement". Data are based on the responses of the 74 students surveyed.

Table 1
Items surveyed in relation to classes, virtual classroom and average results obtained
  Mathematics Health and Society Biology
Average± standard deviation
In relation to the classes
1 Topics developed from the simple to the complex. 4,2 ± 0,9 4,4 ± 0,8 4,3 ± 0,9
2 The didactic material (slides, presentations, others) facilitated the understanding of the topics. 4,2 ± 0,9 4,4 ± 0,9 4,4 ± 0,7
3 The information provided in the classes by the teacher was clear. 4,0 ± 1,1 4,4 ± 0,8 4,1 ± 1,0
4 The planning and distribution of time made it possible to cover the planned topics. 4,4 ± 0,9 4,5 ± 0,8 4,4 ± 0,9
5 The teacher awakened and maintained the interest of the students. 4,0 ± 1,0 4,7 ± 0,6 4,4 ± 0,8
6 The teacher related the topics to each other, emphasized what was important, and made a synthesis and a conclusion. 3,8 ± 1,0 4,5 ± 0,8 4,3 ± 0,9
7 The teacher helped in the understanding of the topics with different techniques such as examples, relations, etc., 4,1 ± 1,2 4,7 ± 0,6 4,4 ± 0,9
8 The teacher used appropriate language, with adequate cadence and harmony. 4,5 ± 0,9 4,8 ± 0,6 4,6 ± 0,7
9 The teacher encouraged the group's participation. 3,7 ± 1,3 4,9 ± 0,3 3,8 ± 1,2
10 The teacher provided satisfactory support, guidance and feedback. 4,0 ± 1,1 4,7 ± 0,5 4,5 ± 0,7
1 The study material was easily accessible. 4,8 ± 0,7 4,6 ± 0,8 4,7 ± 0,8
2 The study material was useful to complement the theoretical classes. 4,5 ± 0,8 4,5 ± 0,9 4,7 ± 0,6
3 The study material was consistent with what was presented in the theoretical classes. 4,6 ± 0,8 4,5 ± 0,8 4,7 ± 0,6
4 The forum was a useful means of communication. 3,7 ± 1,2 3,8 ± 1,2 3,8 ± 1,1
5 The e-mail was a useful means of communication. 4,4 ± 1,0 4,4 ± 1,0 4,4 ± 1,0

Table 2 shows the items surveyed in relation to the integration classes of the Introductory Course and the average results obtained on a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (1=totally disagree, 5=totally agree), with a sample of n=74.

Table 2
Items surveyed in relation to the integration classes and average results obtained
Questions Average ± standard deviation
1 The booklet guides presented clear instructions. 4,4 ± 0,9
2 The integrations allowed me to relate concepts between Biology, Health and Society and Mathematics. 4,5 ± 0,7
3 The integrations allowed me to apply concepts from the theoretical classes. 4,4 ± 0,8
4 The integrations allowed me to interact with my classmates. 4,7 ± 0,6

Table 3 shows the reliability results obtained using Cronbach's alpha coefficient for each of the subscales of the questionnaire. According to the guidelines established by George and Mallery (1995) for interpreting Cronbach's alpha coefficients, the total score obtained was excellent, as were the coefficients obtained for each of the subscales.

Table 3
Questionnaire reliability indices
Survey items Number of items Cronbach's alpha
All items 49 0.98
Mathematics 15 0.89
Health and Society 15 0.90
Biology 15 0.90
Integration 4 0.93

Taking into account the new educational models focused on learning and on the student (Hamer Flores, 2013; Jiménez Hernández et al., 2020; Seivane & Brenlla, 2021), in this paper we collected the opinions of the student body about some aspects of teaching. For this purpose, we used an extensive and exploratory survey as an instrument, which showed tendencies, but did not pretend to be explanatory or to inquire into the possible determinants that could affect the satisfaction of the students consulted. From the perspective of the aspiring medical students, we conducted an analysis of the university professors at the entrance to the career on some of the teaching practices developed at the CIM.

Some authors pose teaching practice as a multidimensional action that is executed in the classroom (De Lella, 2011; García Cabrero et al., 2008) and that is able to answer the following questions: "How do you do it?", "What do you do it with?" and "What do you do it for?". In line with the above, Tejedor & García (1996) suggest that certain points to be evaluated in teaching practice should be the formative activities and those referring to the classroom. In this context, the results of Tables 1 and 2 show that the students perceived the teachers' practices in relation to the items related to face-to-face classes, the virtual classroom and the integration processes as very good. Likewise, globally, in the dimensions that include the items related to planning and conducting processes, very high values were obtained on the Likert scale.

An essential part of the evaluation process is the object of evaluation, which in this case is the teachers (Valenzuela, 2008). Therefore, it is crucial to identify the aspects that will be the object of evaluation, which leads us to focus on the evaluation of teaching performance. This concept establishes a connection between teaching work and educational practice as a whole. Teaching practice, which takes place in the classroom, is an integral part of educational practice as a whole. Although it is limited to the classroom setting and is not influenced by the institutional or curricular context of the educator, it is not without complexity. On the other hand, educational practice is situated within the institutional framework (De Lella, 2011; Slavin, 2002).

According to Slavin (2002), when evaluating the educational process from the classroom, it is important to consider the quality of instruction, which refers to the way in which the teacher presents the information. In this case that we are presenting, for example, illustrates this aspect, it could be correlated with the way in which the topics were developed from the simple to the complex, the clarity of the topics, the information provided by the teacher, etc., all aspects highly valued by the students. Likewise, the relevant level of teacher instruction is related to the degree of ability of the teacher, who should make sure that the students are prepared and motivated to learn the knowledge that he/she will provide (Sorolla & Cobos, 2023). The items related to this degree of assurance were also highly valued. Finally, Slavin (2002) refers to the time associated with each activity to learn new knowledge, which should be sufficient. This item, for this work, was also highly valued.

Rueda & Díaz-Barriga (2004) provide a conceptual discrepancy between academic evaluation and teacher evaluation at the higher level. Academic evaluation takes into account a range of requests that institutions make of professors, such as the development of teaching materials (López Zárate, 2009), which was highly valued by the surveyed students.

Although all aspects of this section were very well valued, in the subject that deals with Mathematics concepts, the lowest result is observed in the item that asks about encouraging group participation. This indicator should be improved, since, as expressed by Anijovich (2017), promoting collaborative work among the students themselves enriches the participants by encouraging work with others and allows achieving the established learning objectives (Rigo, 2020).

In relation to the virtual classroom, which constitutes a new communication system (Morales García, 2023; Ponce Vera, 2023), it is intended to complement face-to-face classes by introducing technology in education (Kyllönen, 2020; South et al., 2020). In it, a communication space called forum was available (Ponce Vera et al., 2023). In this space, it was intended not only to provide information to students, but also to encourage training through discussion and exchange among peers and with the teacher, and thus contribute to critical thinking (Arango, 2004). This item received a low score from the students, since it was hardly used during the entry course.

The rest of the items that were consulted and that are part of the virtual classroom were highly valued, since this resource is understood as a positive contribution to the quality of teaching and the acquisition of materials (Morales García, 2023).

On the other hand, the two integration activities carried out during the CIM were evaluated, which allow the integration of the knowledge acquired by the students in the Biology, Health and Society, and Mathematics courses (Table 2). These integration activities enhance teachers' skills by sharing and facilitating access to information from different paradigms. Integration will be significant when the solutions share information among the different knowledge, which will make the most of its potential and will allow the generation of critical knowledge in the student. This will allow him to propose strategies and alternatives, broadening his initial perspective on the case being analyzed, taking into account that his current and future practical training as a medical student will allow him to insert himself in the system and in the health system in particular.

A good score was also obtained with regard to the guides prepared for this activity. Authors such as Pino Torrens & Urías Arbolaez refer to them as a didactic means that allows guiding, directing, simplifying and favoring the teaching and learning process of the students.

On the other hand, the integration and application of the contents taught was favorably evaluated. In this sense, Boix Mansilla (2017) argues that individuals integrate knowledge when they make use of two or more disciplines. Following this line of thought, Chacón Corzo et al. (2012) propose that the teaching practices executed by teachers should focus on the integration of disciplines, so that students can construct, relate and understand the reality that surrounds them. From this, the importance of applying the concepts learned in the theoretical classes and the importance of the interrelation among the students can be seen. Both points were valued very positively in this work.

Finally, the reliability or internal consistency of the questionnaire provided to the students was evaluated. To carry out this task, Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used, which takes values from 0 to 1. When its value is close to 0, it indicates a lower consistency for the questionnaire, while if it is close to 1, it indicates greater reliability or consistency. Table 3 shows the reliability indices calculated for each of the subscales of the questionnaire, which were excellent, as was the total alpha score.

Based on the analysis of the results and the general objective set for this work, it has been determined that the work carried out by the teachers who were part of the entrance course of the medical career is very good. This situation is explained by the fact that the dimensions of planning, administration and teaching and learning processes were highly valued, which is directly related to the purpose of improving the level of quality in university teaching. In addition, it is important to highlight the importance that evaluation has acquired as a process of improvement and not as a punitive process. Therefore, it is crucial that the actors involved clearly understand the aspects and usefulness of evaluation to facilitate the process and avoid opposition, refusal, rebellion and rejection.


Limitations: This work presents some limitations. First, the results refer only to part of the entry cycle and cannot be extrapolated to the development of the entire career. On the other hand, since the survey was carried out only on applicants who completed the second stage of the admission process, the responses of those who started this stage but did not finish it are not available.

Contribution to scientific knowledge: As a strength, this research focuses on systematic evaluation for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning processes, in this case, in the process of entering a medical career. This is a curricular cycle in which there is little research in this regard, so this study contributes to scientific knowledge in this field.

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Contribution to scientific knowledge: As a strength, this research focuses on systematic evaluation for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning processes, in this case, in the process of entering a medical career. This is a curricular cycle in which there is little research in this regard, so this study contributes to scientific knowledge in this field.

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contribution:
Bellotti, B: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Methodology, Research, Methodology, Supervision, Writing - original draft, Writing: revising and editing; Tognetti, C: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Methodology, Writing - original draft, Writing: revising and editing; Guaresti, G: Formal analysis, Research, Methodology, Writing: revising and editing:
Informed consent: informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data availability statement: Not applicable.