Medical educators' beliefs about learning goals, teaching, and assessment in the context of curriculum changes: a qualitative study conducted at an Iranian medical school

M. Karami*, N. Hashemi, J. van Merrienboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Achieving changing needs, advancing knowledge, and innovations in higher education require the constant changes of medical school curricula and successfully applying the new reforms requires some modifications in the medical educators' core beliefs. The purpose of this study was to describe the medical educators' beliefs about the alignment of the learning goals with teaching and assessment processes in the context of the curriculum changes. Method A qualitative method was used to study the medical educators' beliefs through selecting the faculty participants via a purposeful sampling strategy. The study was conducted at a Medical School in Iran. For the individual interviews, we invited both the professors of the basic sciences and the clinical professors who had thought medical students for at least 5 years. Ten educators were interviewed. Result The results of the research showed that, in the professors' viewpoints, the development of competencies in the students has been abandoned and this is due to the priority of treatment to education in the clinical courses and the limited learning experiences. Moreover, the gap between the content and the context and the attendance of the students in the hospitals instead of the clinics to pass their internship courses has reduced the provision of authentic learning experiences. These conditions have affected the quality of education negatively. The non-systematic assessment has also worsened the situation. Conclusion Despite the changes in the curriculum, the compartmentalization of the curriculum and the structure of the medical education have caused the professors' beliefs to be in line with the past perspectives. Some modifications in the structure of the curriculum seem to be necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Article number446
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2021


  • Medical educators' beliefs
  • Learning goals
  • Teaching methods and assessment methods

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