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Soniya V. Rabadia 1 Article
Benefits of focus group discussions beyond online surveys in course evaluations by medical students in the United States: a qualitative study  
Katharina Brandl, Soniya V. Rabadia, Alexander Chang, Jess Mandel
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2018;15:25.   Published online October 16, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2018.15.25
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
In addition to online questionnaires, many medical schools use supplemental evaluation tools such as focus groups to evaluate their courses. Although some benefits of using focus groups in program evaluation have been described, it is unknown whether these inperson data collection methods provide sufficient additional information beyond online evaluations to justify them. In this study, we analyze recommendations gathered from student evaluation team (SET) focus group meetings and analyzed whether these items were captured in open-ended comments within the online evaluations. Our results indicate that online evaluations captured only 49% of the recommendations identified via SETs. Surveys to course directors identified that 74% of the recommendations exclusively identified via the SETs were implemented within their courses. Our results indicate that SET meetings provided information not easily captured in online evaluations and that these recommendations resulted in actual course changes.

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JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions