A Course Evaluation Tool Based on SPICES Model, and its Application to Evaluation of Medical Pharmacology Course

Tahereh Changiz, A Yousefy



Background and purpose: The SPICES model has been proposed to be used both as a framework for quality improvement in medical education and as a guide for evaluation of curricula. The six strategies of SPICES are representatives of innovative approaches to medical education, and each one has been considered as a continuum. The present study models a theory-based questionnaire, based on SPICES, to be used as a course evaluation tool, through developing a conceptual model for each

continuum of the six.

Methods: At the first step, operational definition and questionnaire development was performed as an extensive literature review and consensus building in a focus groups of experts .The content and

face validity of questionnaire was confirmed. In the second phase-as a pilot -, the questionnaire was used for evaluation of Medical Pharmacology course at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

Results: The results showed that Medical Pharmacology course located in the traditional end of SPICES continua according to the most aspects of the course.

Conclusion: The pilot study showed that the questionnaire scale should be changed. Also it may be more feasible and valid if an item bank is prepared based on the proposed matrix and appropriate items are selected according to the general situation of the curriculum.




Full Text:




Harden R. M., Sowden, S., & Dunn, W. R. Educational strategies in curriculum development: the SPICES model. Med Edu 1984;18: 284-97.

Harden, R. M. The integration ladder: a tool for curriculum planning and evaluation. Med Edu

; 34(7) : 551-7.

Harden, R. M. & Davis, M. H. The continuum of problem-based learning. Med Teach. 1998;

(4): 317-22.

Tekian A. An application of the SPICES model to the status of medical curricula in the Eastern

Mediterranean Region. Med Teach. 1997; 19(3): 217-8.

Van den Berg H. Rating of SPICES criteria to evaluate and compare curricula. Med Teach. 2004; 26(4): 381-4.

Copeland H L, Hewson MG. Developing and testing an instrument to measure the effectiveness of clinical teaching in an academic medical center. Acad Med2000; 75 (2): 161-6.

Harden RM. Ten questions to ask when planning a course or curriculum. Medical Education, 1986; 20(4):356-65.

Harden RM. Approaches to curriculum planning. Med Edu. 1986; 20(5): 458-66.

Harden RM. Learning outcomes and instructional objectives: is there a difference? Med Teach 2002; 24(2): 151-5.

Abbatt F. Evaluation of the Course. In: Abbatt F, McMahon, R editors. Teaching Health-Care Workers. London: Macmillan Education; 1998. p. 217-29.

Abrahams MB. Friedman CP. Preclinical course-evaluation methods at US and Canadian medical schools. Acad Med 1996;71 (4): 371-4.

Anderson-Inman L. Bridging the gap: studentcentered strategies for promoting the transfer of learning, Exceptional .Child, vol. 52, no. 6, pp. 562-572.

Barrows HS. A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Med Edu 1986;20: 481-6. 14.Bartholet M, Sullivan BH. Using a challenge examination to demonstrate a student-centered philosophy. Nurse Educator. 1995;20(6): 7-8.

Bastien A. Apprenticeship in medicine and midwifery. Midwifery Today International Midwife. 2001; 58: 48-9.

Baxley, E. G., Probst, J., & Schell, B. 1997, “A systems-based approach to improving educational quality via community-oriented faculty development”, Acad.Med., vol. 72, no. 5, pp. 459-460.

Binder LS, DeBehnke DJ. The importance of being earnest—and student-centered. Acad Emerg Med. 1998; 5(1): 1-3.

Bligh J. Curriculum design revisited. Med Edu 1999; 33(2): 82-5.

Bridge PD, Schenk M, Popp S. Evaluating a primary care vertically integrated curriculum in undergraduate medical education. Fam Med. 2000; 32(8): 525-7.

Brill JR, Ohly S, Stearns MA. Training community-responsive physicians. Acad Med. 2002; 77 (7): 747.

Broomfield D, Bligh J. An evaluation of the ‘short form’ course experience questionnaire with medical students. Med Edu. 1986; 32 (4): 367-9.

Campbell, C. Training course/program evaluation: principles and practice. J Europ Indust Train. 1998; 22(8): 323-44.

Carey JO, Gregory VL. Toward Improving Student Learning: policy issues and design structures in course-level outcomes assessment. Assess Eval High Edu. 2003; 28(3): 215-27.

Carney PA, Schifferdecker KE, Pipas CF, Fall LH, Poor DA, Peltier DA, Nierenberg DW, Brooks WB. A collaborative model for supporting community-based interdisciplinary education. Acad Med. 2002;77: 610-20.

Catalano GD, Catalano KC. Transformation: From Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered Engineering Education.2003 [cited 2002 Oct 1]. Available from: http://fie.engrng.pitt.edu/fie97/papers/1318.pdf.

Coffey M, Gibbs G. The Evaluation of the Student Evaluation of Educational Quality Questionnaire (SEEQ) in UK Higher Education. Assess Eval High Edu. 2001; 26(1):89-93.

Coles CR, Tomlinson JM. Teaching studentcentred educational approaches to general practice teachers. Med Edu. 1994; 28: 234-8.

Cooksy LJ, Gill P, Kelly PA. The program logic model as an integrative framework for a multimethod evaluation. Eval Prog Plan. 2001; 24(2): 119-28.

Craig P, Bandaranayake R. Experiences with a method for obtaining feedback on a medical curriculum undergoing change. Med Edu 1993; 27(1): 15-21.

D’Eon MF, Harris C. If students are not customers, what are they? Acad Med. 2000; 75(12): 1173-7.

Dahle LO, Forsberg P, Svanberg-Hard H, Wyon Y, Hammar M. Problem-based medical education: development of a theoretical foundation and a science-based professional attitude. Med Edu. 1997; 31(6): 416-24.

Darabi A. Teaching Program Evaluation: Using a Systems Approach. Am J Eval. 2002; 23(2): 219-28.

David Bor. Community-Based Education for Health Professionals. [Position Paper]. The Network Towards Unity for Health; January 2002 [cited Jul 2004]. Available from: http://w w w . t h e - n e t w o r k t u f h . o r g /publications_resourses/.

Davidson AT, Old DC. Academic standardscourse monitoring and evaluation. In: Dent JA, Harden RM editors. A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2001. p. 428-39.

Davis MH, Harden RM. Problem-based learing: A practical guide. Med Teach. 1999; 21(2): 130-40.

Deboer GE. Student-Centered Teaching in a Standards-Based World: Finding a Sensible Balance. Sci Edu. 2002; 11(4): 405-17.

Derstine PL. Maximizing student-centered learning. Acad Med 1996; 71(5): 538.

Desjardins PJ. Creating a community-oriented curriculum and culture: lessons learned from the 1993-1996 ongoing New Jersey experiment. J Dent Edu. 1996: 60(10): 821-6.

Donahue RE, Eddy JM. A student-centered approach to degree program design: case study. Am J Health Behav. 2003; 27(1): 89-90.

Dowaliby FJ, Schumer H. Teacher-centered versus student-centered mode of college classroom instruction as related to manifest anxiety. J Edu Psych. 1973;64(2): 125-32.

Forbes CD. Electives, options and special stud modules. In: Dent JA, Harden RM editors. A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2001. p. 50- 60.

Friedman CP, De Bliek R, Greer DS, Mennin SP, Norman GR, Sheps CG, Swanson DB, Woodward CA. Charting the winds of change: evaluating innovative medical curricula. Acad Med: 1990; 65(1): 8-14.

Geitgey DA. Student-centered curriculumsstudent- centered teaching in nursing. Nurs Outlook 1968; 16(7): 21.

Glick SM. Problem-based learning and community-oriented medical education. Med Edu. 1991; 25(6): 542-5.

Habbick BF, Leeder SR. Orienting medical education to community need: a review. Med Edu 1996; 30(3): 163-71.

Hamad B. Problem-based education in Gezira, Sudan. Med Edu 1985;19(5): 357-63.

Hamad B. Community-oriented medical education: what is it? Med Edu. 1991; 25(1): 16-22.

Hendry GD, Cumming RG, Lyon PM, Gordon J. Student-centred Course Evaluation in a Fouryear,

Problem Based Medical Programme: issues in collection and management of feedback. Assess Eval Higher Edu. 2001; 26(4): 327-33.

Howe A. Teaching in practice: a qualitative factor analysis of community-based teaching. Med Edu 2000; 34(9): 762-8.

Huppatz C. The essential role of the student in curriculum planning. Med Edu. 1996; 30: 9-13.

Kalishman S. Evaluating Community-based Health Professions Education Programs. Education for Health. 2002; 15(2): 228-40.

Mennin S, Majoor G. Problem-Based Learning [Position Paper]. The Network Towards Unity for Health; January 2002 [cited Jul 2004]. Available from: http://www.thenetworktufh.org/publications_resourses/.

Montague M. Student-centered or strategycentered instruction: what is our purpose? J Learning Disabilities. 1993; 26(7): 433-7.

Muller J, Shore WB, Martin P, Levine M, Harvey H, Kelly P, McCarty S, Szarek J, Veitia M. What did we learn about interdisciplinary collaboration in institutions? Acad Med. 2001; 76 Suppl 4: S55-60.

Nandi PL, Chan JN, Chan CP, Chan P, Chan LP. Undergraduate medical education: comparison of problem-based learning and conventional teaching. Hong Kong Med J. 2000; 6(3): 301-6.

Nicholson S, Osonnaya C, Carter YH, Savage W, Hennessy E, Collinson S. Designing a community-based fourth-year obstetrics and gynaecology module: an example of innovative curriculum development. Med Edu. 2001; 35(4): 398-403.

Norman GR, Schmidt HG. Effectiveness of problem-based learning curricula:theory, practice and paper darts. Med Edu 2000; 34: 721-8.

Ranzcog PW. Relationships: A New Way to Analyse Communitybased Medical Education? (Part One). Education for Health: Change in Learning & Practice. 2002; 15(2): 117-28.

Richards RW. Best Practices in Community- Oriented Health Professions Education: International Exemplars. Education for Health: Change in Learning & Practice. 2001; 14(3): 357- 65.

Sefton A. Problem-based learning. In: Dent JA, Harden RM editors. A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2001. p.158-167.

Shlomo W, Moshe B. Role of evaluation in an interdisciplinary educational program. Stud Edu Eval. 1996; 22(9): 171-9.

Vidic B. Weitlauf HM. Horizontal and vertical integration of academic disciplines in the medical

school curriculum. Clin Anat. 2002; 15(3): 233- 5.

Visser K, Prince KJAH, Scherpbier AJAH, Cees JJAS, Vleuten CPMVD, Verwijnen GMM. Student participation in educational management and organization. Med Teach. 1998; 20(5): 451-454..

Walker J, Bailey S, Brasell-Brian R, Gould S. Evaluating a problem based learning course: an action research study. Contem Nurse 2001;10: 30-8.

Williams WM, Ceci SJ. How’m I Doing.Change. 1997; 29(5): 12-23.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/jme.v8i2.748

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.