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Eur J Dent Educ. 2004 Nov;8(4):147-51.

Association amongst factors thought to be important by instructors in dental education and perceived effectiveness of these instructors by students.

Author information

1
School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA. dchambers@uop.edu

Abstract

It is hypothesised that dental educators have perceptions of their roles as effective teachers. It is expected that subject matter expertise would be amongst the components of such personal philosophies of education, but it is unclear whether faculty member self-perceptions carry over into student ratings of instructors' effectiveness. A 20-item survey of 'Teaching Characteristics' was completed by 86% of full-time and 64% of the part-time faculty members at the University of the Pacific. Respondents distributed 100 points amongst the descriptions of what makes an effective instructor. The responses were factor-analysed, resulting in four general faculty 'types' that explained about 50% of the variance in ratings: expert, enthusiast, judicial and good soldier. Student ratings for the 2 years running up to the date of the survey administration were used to gauge student perceptions of instructor effectiveness. Faculty members who placed emphasis on expertise as key to being a good instructor received significantly lower ratings for teacher effectiveness from students than did other faculty members. Faculty members who conceived their roles as motivating students, explaining difficult concepts, displaying interest in the subject, showing compassion and caring, and being proactive tended to receive high ratings for teaching effectiveness from students.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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