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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74

Fear of losing face effecting the process of peer-to-peer feedback in the Arab world


Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hofuf, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Abdul Sattar Khan
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hofuf, Al-Ahsa
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-600X.156113

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How to cite this article:
Khan AS. Fear of losing face effecting the process of peer-to-peer feedback in the Arab world. J Health Spec 2015;3:74

How to cite this URL:
Khan AS. Fear of losing face effecting the process of peer-to-peer feedback in the Arab world. J Health Spec [serial online] 2015 [cited 2018 Aug 21];3:74. Available from: http://www.thejhs.org/text.asp?2015/3/2/74/156113

Sir,

Widespread implementation and adaptation of problem-based learning (PBL) curricula during the last decade made earnest changes in the overall learning environment in the Arab world. However, it has also brought some apprehension that directly confronts the cultural values of the Arab world. Frambach et al., 2012 [1] also endorsed it while examining three cultures related to Arab, Asian and Dutch societies. Nevertheless, in PBL environment, the responsibility for the learning process is fairly given to the student in order to enlarge the educational congruence; students should also receive accountability in the giving feedback. [2] One can argue that in the western world students are still a novice for giving feedback, and hence it is hard and difficult to employ it in the Arab world.

This issue is embedded with a problem of students' readiness for PBL in the Arab culture, and it could be addressed from the angle of different indices studied by Hofstede, 2005. [3] This study depicts that the Arab culture with high power distance index values tends to lead a hierarchical order, therefore, diffident about trusting peer-feedback and rely on expert opinions more. In addition to that, the Arab world where social bonding is very resilient and society as a whole does not want to fade their expression among their peoples it is hard to expect peers to give unbiased feedback.

In the western world, students are skilled differently from the early age to rationalize using logic and individuality; thus tend to have a more positive perception regarding peer feedback. Hence, it is easy to overcome most of the errors giving and receiving feedback and could resolve the problem of lenient (Doves) and severe (Hawks) raters. Conversely, Arab students are taught to communicate in a way that uses emotions and generally place a high value on exhibiting emotion. [1] Therefore, they rarely admit errors so as to avoid the face value/respect in front of their colleagues and friends. As a counter argument, we need to analyze whether it is relevant to the training aspect or if it is a cultural problem. [1]

However, this gap between the East and West is getting closer as many students are getting there education in the western world so the increasing globalization, probably moderates perceptions and changes attitudes in the Arab world. Nevertheless, it is still a challenge to convince our students that their feedback to peers enhances learning without humiliation in front of their friends. Therefore, it is recommended that we first devolop a culture of giving and receiving feedback instead of simply adapting a curriculum directly.

 
  References Top

1.
Frambach JM, Driessen EW, Chan LC, van der Vleuten CP. Rethinking the globalisation of problem-based learning: How culture challenges self-directed learning. Med Educ 2012;46:738-47.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sluijsmans D, Dochy F, Moerkerke G. Creating a learning environment by using self-peer-and co-assessment. Learning Environ Res 1999;I:293-319.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
The Hosftede Centre. Nation-wise Comparison of Cultural Domains. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2014 May 12].  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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