Teaching styles of tutors in a problem-based curriculum: students' and tutors' perception.Med Teach. 2006 Aug; 28(5):460-4.MT
This study compared the self-rated with student-rated teaching styles of PBL tutors. We also examined the relationship between teaching styles of tutors' and students' evaluation of tutor effectiveness in tutorials. The study included 48 tutors and 276 medical students. Tutors, and students' were given a teaching style inventory with a 5-point scale consisting of 21 items that comprise four domains of teaching styles (facilitative, collaborative, suggestive and assertive). In addition, quantitative and qualitative evaluations of tutor effectiveness by students were analyzed. Tutors perceived themselves in the facilitative-collaborative end of the spectrum of styles In contrast, students perceived tutors as less 'facilitative-collaborative' and more 'suggestive-assertive' than tutors self-ratings (p < 0.001). In addition, the difference in perception between students and tutors ratings in the facilitative-collaborative domains was more evident as students progressed in the PBL curriculum. The students' ratings of the effectiveness of tutors correlated more strongly with facilitative-collaborative than with suggestive-assertive domains of teaching styles. However, other tutor attributes such as establishing rapport with students, providing academic help for them and having content expertise were considered important criteria of an effective tutor. We conclude that there is a mismatch between students' and tutors' perceptions about teaching styles of tutor. Tutor attributes other than teaching styles are important determinants of an effective tutor.