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Eur J Dent Educ. 2007 Feb;11(1):54-9.

The introduction of a new assessment system in restorative dentistry: the undergraduate and patient experience.

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Department of Oral and Dental Sciences, Bristol Dental School, Bristol, Avon, UK.


In 2000, the University of Bristol Dental School Division of Restorative Dentistry carried out a review of the assessment methods used within the undergraduate programme. Following this review, a number of key recommendations were made and the system of formative assessment within the division was changed. Audits were conducted immediately prior to the introduction of the new system and 2 years after it had been introduced, the results of these audits are presented. There was no change in the number of failed appointments between the initial audit and the second audit. There was a reduction in the number of patients treated by more than one student from 25% to 14% (approximating to 3% if student withdrawal from the course is taken into account). The length of time taken to complete treatment reduced between the two audits with more than half of all patients having their treatment completed within 3 months of their initial examination in the second audit. Ninety-five percent of treatment plans were completed in the second audit compared with only 62% in the first audit. In the second audit, the outstanding 5% of cases were signed off as incomplete for satisfactory reasons by the member of supervisory staff (e.g. patients who had moved away or were discharged due to poor attendance). Student comments were mostly positive, the small number of negative comments related to some students being confused by the paperwork in the new system. The overall process has been an extremely positive experience which has resulted in an assessment system with increased clarity which appears to have reduced the stress levels reported by the undergraduate students on the programme and improved the quality of patient care within restorative dentistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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