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Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations


Choi-Lundberg, DL and Al-Aubaidy, HAM and Burgess, J and Clifford, CA and Cuellar, WA and Errey, JA and Harper, AJ and Malley, RC and Ross, RM and Williams, A-MM and Hays, R, Minimal effects of reduced teaching hours on undergraduate medical student learning outcomes and course evaluations, Medical Teacher, 42, (1) pp. 58-65. ISSN 0142-159X (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Medical teacher, on 22 August 2019, available online:

DOI: doi:10.1080/0142159X.2019.1652258


Introduction: Various pressures exist for curricular change, including economic forces, burgeoning knowledge, broadening learning outcomes, and improving quality and outcomes of learning experiences. In an Australian 5-year undergraduate medical course, staff were asked to reduce teaching hours by 20% to alleviate perceived overcrowded preclinical curriculum, achieve operating efficiencies and liberate time for students' self-directed learning.

Methods: A case study design with mixed methods was used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Teaching hours were reduced by 198 hours (14%) overall, lectures by 153 hours (19%) and other learning activities by 45 hours (7%). Summative assessment scores did not change significantly after the reductions: 0.4% increase, 1.5% decrease and 1.7% increase in Years 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The percentage of students successfully completing their academic year did not change significantly: 94.4% before and 93.3% after the reductions. Student evaluations from eVALUate surveys changed little, except workload was perceived to be more reasonable.

Conclusions: Teaching hours, particularly lectures, can be moderately reduced with little impact on student learning outcomes or satisfaction with an undergraduate medical course.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:undergraduate (phase of education), evaluation (curriculum), educational environment (curriculum), learning outcomes, medicine (profession), medical students, curriculum development, learning environment, engagement in learning
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
UTAS Author:Choi-Lundberg, DL (Dr Derek Choi-Lundberg)
UTAS Author:Al-Aubaidy, HAM (Dr Hayder Al-Aubaidy)
UTAS Author:Burgess, J (Professor John Burgess)
UTAS Author:Clifford, CA (Dr Christine Clifford)
UTAS Author:Cuellar, WA (Dr William Cuellar)
UTAS Author:Errey, JA (Dr Judi Errey)
UTAS Author:Harper, AJ (Dr Amanda Harper)
UTAS Author:Malley, RC (Dr Roslyn Malley)
UTAS Author:Ross, RM (Dr Renee Ross)
UTAS Author:Williams, A-MM (Dr Anne-Marie Williams)
UTAS Author:Hays, R (Professor Richard Hays)
ID Code:134637
Year Published:2020 (online first 2019)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-08-23
Last Modified:2020-08-14
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

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