Associations between learning environment factors and student satisfaction among occupational therapy students
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThygesen H, Gramstad A, Åsli LA, Stigen L, Magne TA, Carstensen T, Bonsaksen T. Associations between learning environment factors and student satisfaction among occupational therapy students. Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy (IJOT). 2020 https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJOT-10-2019-0015
Purpose: Student satisfaction is an important indicator of educational quality in higher education institutions. Learning environment factors are assumed to play a role in determining student satisfaction. The purpose of this study is to examine the intrinsic relationships between five learning environment scales embedded within one measure; and examine the associations between each of these scales and an overall measure of education program satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: In this cross-sectional study, 175 first-year occupational therapy students in Norway completed sociodemographic information and the Course Experience Questionnaire. The data were analyzed with Pearson’s correlation coefficient r and with linear regression. Findings: All intrinsic associations between the learning environment scales were positive. In the adjusted analysis, higher education program satisfaction was significantly associated with higher scores on “clear goals and standards,” “emphasis on independence” and “good teaching.” The final model accounted for 45.0% of the outcome variance, of which the scores on the learning environment scales contributed 41.8%. Originality/value: The learning environment is vital for student satisfaction. More specifically, efforts to improve student satisfaction may include strengthening student-focused teaching, strengthening the autonomy of the students, and ensuring that the goals and standards of courses are clear and easy to understand.