The evaluation of bedside teachingan instrument for staff evaluation and student experience: A pilot study at a South African university
South African Journal of Surgery
Centre for Health Science Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Background. Bedside teaching is the core teaching strategy in the clinical study years of the medical undergraduate degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. The quality of this teaching strategy has not been formally evaluated by students as other teaching strategies have been. Method. A quantitative, descriptive study was undertaken in the final year of study of the graduate entry medical programme (GEMP). The sample comprised medical students who were completing their surgical block during September and November 2008. There were approximately 30 students in each of these 2 blocks. A bedside teaching evaluation questionnaire was developed, based on previously validated peer review questionnaires used in evaluating small group formal classroom-based lectures. The purpose of the study was to determine the reliability of the instrument for evaluating bedside teaching. Results. A sample of 112 evaluations was obtained and the constructs and sub-constructs were subjected to an analysis using Cronbach's alpha. Conclusion. The overall Cronbach's alpha was 0.9627, demonstrating that the instrument is reliable and can be used to evaluate bedside teaching.