Needs assessment and evaluation of a short course to improve faculties teaching skills at a former World Health Organization regional teacher training center
Mohammad Reza Dehghani
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AbstractIntroduction: In the design of educational programs, much attention has been paid to teaching methods, needs assessment, an important part of the development of educational programs, generally is neglected. Another important aspect in educational program design is assessing effectiveness. The aims of this study were to design a formal needs assessment program to define the core contents of a faculty development program, and to determine whether participation in the faculty development program reinforced new teaching skills. Methods: A teacher-training program was designed at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences to help medical instructors boost their teaching skills. Needs assessment was done with nominal group technique followed by a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. The program, imparted in workshop format, covered effective teaching methods, feedback, assessing knowledge and time management. Instruction was in the form of lectures, group discussions, case simulations, video presentations and role-plays. The program was evaluated in several phases using data triangulation and multi-item assessments of overall program quality in three major dimensions: Kirkpatrick program evaluation model, evaluation of the educational environment and qualitative analysis with open-ended questions. All participants in the study belonged to the academic staff of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (n=396). Results: Seven main categories were derived from nominal group techniques and questionnaires. After the program, participants rated the quality of the program highly. They felt that the educational intervention was appropriate and had a positive impact on their knowledge of effective teaching methods, feedback, knowledge assessment and time management. Assessment of the effectiveness of the program showed that participants reported significant improvements in their teaching abilities. Conclusion: Our faculty development program have a significant positive effect on medical university teaching staff members’ competencies. Further research is needed to investigate whether the faculty development program actually results in improved teaching performance.