Clinical teaching in restorative dentistry and the variation between students’ and supervisors’ perceptions of its effectiveness

Polyzois, I., McLouglin, J., Kelly, A. and Claffey, N. (2010) Clinical teaching in restorative dentistry and the variation between students’ and supervisors’ perceptions of its effectiveness. European Journal of Dental Education, 14 (2). pp. 92-98. ISSN 13965883


Objectives: To investigate if there was an agreement between the students and supervisors on the quality of clinical teaching in Restorative Dentistry in the Dublin Dental School and Hospital and to identify differences on how effective clinical teaching is perceived between three academic years. In addition it aimed to identify the existence of any similarities between students’ and supervisors’ perceptions of specific teaching behaviours that are most and least helpful in learning. Materials and methods: An anonymous questionnaire based on the above objectives was distributed to three cohorts of undergraduate students and three cohorts of clinical supervisors. The response rate was 94% for the first, 94% for the second and 63% for the third student cohort. Twenty-one (21) out of the 36 supervisors returned the questionnaire. Basic analysis of the clinical questionnaire was carried out in order to find the distributions of the variables between the groups. These distributions were compared using a non-parametric analysis (Kruskal–Wallis). The degree of association was measured by the Pearson’s chi-square values. Results: Students from all 3 years reported to be neither very satisfied nor very dissatisfied with their clinical teaching with a few statistically significant differences across the 3 years. The supervisors on the other hand, replied with a great deal of similarity across the 3 years. Furthermore, supervisors gave a high degree of straight line responses and generally felt very good about the level of clinical teaching. There was a high degree of variability in what the supervisors thought was important but also a high degree of similarity in what they thought wasn’t helpful. It was exactly the opposite for the students. Conclusions: There is a limited agreement between students and staff on the effectiveness of clinical teaching and the way effectiveness is perceived between students and clinical supervisors as well as between senior and more junior students. Overall though students and supervisors rated the clinical teaching favourably but indicated several areas of concern. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of European Journal of Dental Education is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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