Evaluation of practice rotations using the Placement Evaluation Tool (PET): A standardized translation involving medical students and teaching physicians

Johanna Schroeder, Nicola Amarell, Birgitta Weltermann, Dorothea Wild, Maximilian Wehner

Keywords: Learning evaluation, learning environment, think-aloud method

Background:
GP offices constitute an important learning environment for medical students. In fact, there is a heterogeneous teaching situation that is difficult to evaluate. Especially the learning environment, the relationship with the supervisor and the expectations of the student are often not recorded, but play a major role in the students' learning success.
Cooper et al. (2020) developed and validated the Placement Evaluation Tool (PET) for nursing students to capture student perception of the learning environment.

Research questions:
The aim of our work was to translate the PET questionnaire into German in order to find a suitable tool to evaluate medical students┬┤ learning environment in GP practices.

Method:
A three-stage approach was used for the translation. First, three experienced teaching physicians translated the various items of the questionnaire. Second, the questionnaire was evaluated with six medical students using the think-aloud method. Subsequently , the results of this evaluation were used to finalize the translation.

Results:
All 20 PET questionnaire items were translated separately by the teaching physicians with subsequent discussion for one agree-upon version. The six medical students assessed the comprehensibility and relevance of each item for a primary care rotation with overall very good results. There were particularly many comments on the comprehensibility of individual statements as well as the consistency of the wording. Eight items were adjusted thereafter for the final version.

Conclusions:
The feedback of the medical students currently rotating in a practice was extremely helpful. The aim of further research should be the feasibility of surveying the learning environment with the help of the PET questionnaire in order to evaluate and improve teaching in GP practices.

Points for discussion:
How to other academician evaluate the learning of medical students┬┤ in teaching practices?

Might there be cultural differences in assessing surveys of the learning environment?

Are other academic teachers interested in participating in the feasibility study?