Investigating perceptions of the academic educational environment across six undergraduate health care courses in the United Kingdom

Karen Ousey, John Stephenson, Ted Brown, Joanne Garside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To compare how health care professional students perceive their academic learning environment in one Higher Education Institution (HEI). Method: The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM), a scale that measures students' perceptions of their academic classroom learning environments, and demographic items were completed by 673 undergraduate students enrolled in health professional courses at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Respondent scores, partitioned by demographic variables, were obtained on the total DREEM scale and on the individual sub-scales. Analysis of variance techniques were utilized to investigate associations between demographic variables on the total DREEM score and sub-scale scores. Results: All students from all year levels reported total DREEM scores between 101 - 150, indicating a more positive than negative perception of their academic learning environments. Both profession and year of study were found to be significantly associated with total DREEM scores, with occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses scoring higher than operating department practice students; and first year students scoring higher than third year students. A significant interaction between these two factors was found to exist, indicating that the impact of the year of study does not apply equally over the different professional groups of students. Conclusions: Students in this study reported positive perceptions about their academic classroom learning environments and teaching delivered. Further interrogation of the DREEM sub-scale dimensions at a programme/cohort level may offer course teams' further information to inform continuous quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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