Volume 16, Issue 3 (9-2019)                   ioh 2019, 16(3): 58-70 | Back to browse issues page

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Mokarami H, Javid A B, Zaroug Hossaini R, Barkhordari A, Gharibi V, Jahangiri M et al . Developing and Validating Tool for Assessing the Field Internship Course in the Field of Occupational Health Engineering. ioh. 2019; 16 (3) :58-70
URL: http://ioh.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2537-en.html
Shahroud University of Medical Sciences , gharibivahid@gmail.com
Abstract:   (746 Views)

Background and aims:
Training process is any learning-based activity and experience, performed with the aim of causing relatively fixed and stable changes in people to improve their ability to do a job. In this regard, the apprenticeship course is one of the most important educational courses, especially for action-oriented or practical fields of studies of the universities. In these fields, apprenticeship is considered as an opportunity for experiential learning, acquiring skill, and practical training. This course involves learning during working, practice, practical training, and acquiring skill, which provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience, apply their skills acquired in the university, improve their management and personal skills, and create new job opportunities. An apprenticeship period is suitable for trail and test under the supervision of academic educators and industry experts. It creates real conditions for the link between industry and university, and a young graduated person is prepared for work in the community. The essential part of the practical skills training occurs during this period. In general, apprenticeship leads to acquiring valuable practical experiences and improving behavior and attitudes. It also prepares them to enter the world of work in graduated people.
Evaluation is one of the most important steps in the training process and the correct implementation of it provides very useful information on the way of planning and implementing educational programs and can be a very useful basis for evaluating educational performance.  In fact, systematic evaluations and interventions based on the results of the evaluation have a direct impact on the improvement of the educational process and the achievement of the educational goals of a field of study.
 Apprenticeship, as other courses, requires evaluation, and it requires a standard and effective tool that can accurately measure the educational and expected goals.  By using such a valid tool, the success of interventional programs can be evaluated with more assurance to improve the efficiency of the apprenticeship period. Thus, the development of a standard evaluation tool and its psychometric properties is crucial. It can be developed by a group of experts of the same field of the study.
Professional health engineering is one of the important fields of medical sciences. At the bachelor level, apprenticeship is vital in this field of study. This course is considered an essential part of the bachelor level and bachelor students require acquiring special skills to perform their professional tasks to meet the needs and expectations of faculty members as well as employer and worker expectations. In this regard, the method of evaluation of apprentices is one of the most important concerns for apprentices and even professors in this field of study. One reason for the importance of this course is the number of its units (16 units), which has a significant effect on the final GPA of students. It is also a concern for other fields of medical sciences. Based on a research conducted by the research team using advice of experts and research resources, it was found that no study had been conducted so far on the evaluation of the apprentices of professional health engineering field of study in Iran. It might be due to the lack of a standard and valid tool to evaluate the apprentices.
 Problems and concerns related to the assessment of field internship course in field of occupation health engineering is one of the most important issues for the students and the proffessors.
This study aimed to development and validating a tool for assessing the field internship course in the field of occupational health engineering.
 
Methods:
This study was conducted in the occupational health engineering department of the Faculty of Health of Shahroud University of Medical Sciences during the second semester of 2016-2017 to the second semester of 2017-2018. Students of these two courses were evaluated using the designed evaluation tool. The dimensions and items of tool was developed based on curriculum of internship course in the field of occupational health engineering and using litreture review and panel discussions with the participation of occupational health professors and experts. Validity was assessed by Face validity, content validity ratio (CVR), content validity index (CVI) and Item Impact score (IS).  Reliability was evaluated through internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha coefficient) and test–retest reliability analyses.
In this method used to extract opinions, ideas, and perceptions of a group of people with common characteristics on a particular topic, interviews and group discussions were used. Finally, three areas (dimensions) were defined, which a graduate of this field of the study should be trained based on them.
First area: educational and learning objectives: It includes the initial criteria to achieve educational objectives according to the headlines. It is in fact the science and technology that a bachelor student who is being graduated should learn.
Second area: Management and personal skills (behavioral objectives): it is a performance criteria of an apprentice in the behavioral and management section which includes the performances preparing a student for accepting management role of occupational health and related executive actions in the community. Skilled experts consider this area as conventional management and personal skills.
Third area: development of professional job and entrepreneurship competences and qualifications (management objectives): it is a combination of personal and personality traits, skills, characteristics and behaviors that directly affect the performance of an individual. This area is a state of a person's readiness to enter into a particular profession. In other words, it indicates if a person has the ability to do that work and if he or she is able to create value for new situations by creating various opportunities.
 Then, the comprehensive criteria in accordance to these three objectives were prepared. These criteria were determined based on the review of relevant literature, interviews and the use of the experiences of professors and educators in the field of professional health engineering, experts of professional health unit of health centers and professional health experts. These criteria were used as a conceptual framework for designing the items.  Then, in accordance to the conceptual framework and considering the frequency of criteria for each area, appropriate items were developed for all of them. The conceptual fit of each item with its measured dimension was maintained in the process of developing items for all of the dimensions. Finally, after evaluating the psychometric properties of the questionnaire, five-point Likert scale (very poor (1), poor (2), moderate (3), good (4) and excellent (5) was used to score the items. An excellent score was considered for very appropriate performance and without any need for guidance, a good score was considered for often satisfactory performance with minimum guidance, a moderate score was considered for in appropriate performance requiring guidance, a poor score was considered for inappropriate performance requiring guidance and supervision, and a very poor score was considered for extremely inappropriate performance requiring precise and thorough supervision and guidance.
 
Results:
Based on the three dimensions defined, in the first step, a three-dimensional questionnaire with 44 items was designed. Each of dimensions of educational and learning objectives, management and personal skills, and the development of professional job and entrepreneurship competencies had 14, 20 and 10 items, respectively. The effect score of the item showed that all designed items had a score of above 1.5. Thus, in this step, none of the items were eliminated and all of them were considered important and appropriate from the target ‘s point of view.
The final version of the tool contained 3 dimensions and 40 items. CVI was 0.85, CVR was 0.76, and IS all items were above 1.5, indicating good content validity from the experts’ points of view. The Cronbach’s alpha, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and test-retest Pearson correlation coefficients for the final version of the tool were 0.835, 0.899 (P < 0.001) and 0.913 (P < 0.001), respectively.
Conclusion:
In general, the positive results of validity of the designed tool suggest the desirable psychometric property of the 40-item questionnaire of evaluation of the apprenticeship course in the field of professional health engineering with three areas of educational and learning objectives, management and personal skills, and the development of professional job and entrepreneurship competencies. This standard tool, in addition to evaluating the level of apprentices’ information and knowledge, can be a desirable tool for evaluating the expected job skills and competencies required in the health professional engineering field of study. This was a preliminary study and the authors of this research faced with various limitations. Thus, further studies are needed for more comprehensive application of the designed tool as well as reassessment of the psychometric properties and eliminating its defects and disadvantages in other professional health engineering departments of Iran’s medical universities. Finally, a complete and comprehensive tool for evaluating apprentices of this field of study is provided for academic community.
 The results indicated that the field internship course in the Field of occupational health engineering In three dimension, it includes the dimension of educational and learning objectives, the field of managerial and individual skills, as well as the development of professional qualifications and entrepreneurship assessment tool has good psychometric properties and can be used as a standard mseare for assessing the field internship course of student occupational health engineering. The scope of educational and learning objectives, the field of managerial and individual skills, as well as the development of professional qualifications and entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Questionnaire designs, Validity, Reliability, Occupational health.
Full-Text [PDF 1652 kb]   (127 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Educational Technology
Received: 2018/08/13 | Accepted: 2018/12/26 | Published: 2019/08/31

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