Students’ perception of the learning environment in a new medical college by means of the DREEM inventory

Sukanta Tripathy, Sharmila Dudani


Background: The educational environment in a college is one of the most important factors in determining the success of the curriculum and the student. The DREEM inventory is a validated global instrument for measuring the educational environment in undergraduate medical education. A study was undertaken to assess the educational environment as perceived by the students of a new medical college established in India in 2008.

Objectives: To compare the quality of the educational environment in preclinical years as perceived by the first two batches of students in a new medical college so that appropriate remedial measures could be taken, and also to identify gender differences, if any in the students’ perception.

Methods: The DREEM questionnaire was administered to 156 students (2008 batch, n=56 and 2009 batch, n=100) on different occasions after a lecture class. Purpose of the study was explained to the students before administering the questionnaire. Confidentiality was maintained. Statistical analysis used: Cronbachs alpha for internal consistency and reliability. Unpaired t test was used for comparison.

Results: The response rate was 100% (256 /256 students). The overall DREEM score was 126.3/200 indicating that perception of the educational environment of the medical school was more positive than negative. However, the study revealed some problem areas within the educational environment.

Conclusion: A large number of diverse and hidden factors influence the way students perceive their educational environment. It should be a continuous process to monitor the feedbacks from the students to identify problem areas so that necessary remedial measures can be instituted at the earliest.


Learning environment, Students’ perception

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