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J Dent Educ. 1992 Mar;56(3):183-9.

A meta-analysis of individualized instruction in dental education.

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Department of Educational Development, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912-1020.


Although several dozen studies on individualized instruction in dental education have been conducted over the past 30 years, little has been done to summarize quantitatively these studies. The present investigation used Glass' techniques of meta-analysis to integrate statistically findings from 34 comparative studies on individualized instruction. A majority of these studies favored individualized over conventional instruction. The overall magnitude of effect, however, was small to moderate. One study characteristic variable--pacing of instruction--related significantly to effect size, with instructor-paced versions of individualized instruction producing larger achievement gains than student-paced versions. On average, individualized courses required only three-quarters of the time needed for conventional teaching. The results suggest that more research is needed in this area, particularly concerning applications of computer-based instruction, to assess adequately the potential of individualized modes of instruction for dental education.

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