Author: Schouten L.S, Janssen C.C.M, Bazelmans E and Bosman G.J.C.G.M Publication Year: 2015
Summary: This work aims to provide an insight into the sources of information used by medical students and the influence of course characteristics on the selection of electives in science-centred courses.
Description: Background: Little is known about the sources of information used by medical students, and on the influence of the course characteristics, to select an elective, science-centered course. Therefore, the aim of this work was to gain more insight into these factors, in order to increase satisfaction with students and faculty.

Methods: A digital questionnaire immediately after registration for an elective course program in the sixth semester of the bachelor program.

Results: The most important source of information was the student-authored elective guide. In-depth treatment of a specific medical topic and wanting to acquire more knowledge of a postgraduate training program contributed most to the final selection. Students who attached much value to the educational format, considered many practicals and many lectures as positive aspects. Opinion was divided on the time spent on scientific topics, and on a written test as part of the grading process. When a group effort was a major factor in determining the final grade, this was considered a negative factor.

Conclusions: The information on elective courses should include student-authored information. The students’ selection criteria for elective courses reflect the variation in student attitude. Therefore, the information on the elective program should clearly identify its main goals.

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