ABSTRACT: A Qualitative Analysis of an Interactive Online Discussion by Health Professions Educators on Education Research
Introduction: In view of increasing demand for reforms in medical education in India, it is important to generate evidence through education research to increase the relevance and improve the quality of medical education. Education research is still at a nascent stage in India for a number of reasons. This study elicited health professions educators’ views about the dearth of education research in Southeast Asia and what is needed to improve it. Methods: Qualitative content analysis of an interactive, online discussion on ‘education research’ between PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute fellows and faculty was carried out.
Results and Discussion: Forty-four health professionals exchanged approximately 492 email messages during the discussion. One main concern expressed within the group was that the medical curriculum was not in tune with the health care needs of the society and reforms in the curriculum should be based on research. Most fellows felt that their work in education research was not appreciated in their schools. Participants felt that education research was done for altruistic reasons and only by self-motivated faculty. Participants also said that regulatory bodies were not concerned about the quality of education and its related research. Measures that could improve education research also emerged during the discussions. Interactive online discussions elicited important issues about education research in India. Participants noted that there is no recognition or rewards to encourage faculty to conduct education research. They also said that there is need to educate faculty about changes elsewhere in medical education and to make them more aware of education research generally.