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Comparative Study
, 21 (1), 37-45

Assessment of Practical Tasks in the Phantom Course of Conservative Dentistry by Pre-Defined Criteria: A Comparison Between Self-Assessment by Students and Assessment by Instructors

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Comparative Study

Assessment of Practical Tasks in the Phantom Course of Conservative Dentistry by Pre-Defined Criteria: A Comparison Between Self-Assessment by Students and Assessment by Instructors

K C Huth et al. Eur J Dent Educ.

Abstract

Introduction: Assessment of practical skills in undergraduate dental education has difficulties, including a lack of transparency/objectivity in student evaluations. This prospective study investigated whether agreement between student- and faculty-based assessments increased when students were trained to use the assessment criteria.

Materials and methods: Assessment criteria were available for 6 tasks in the Phantom course of Conservative Dentistry: Class II cavity preparation, composite restoration, gold and ceramic partial crown preparation, trepanation and access cavity preparation, and root canal filling. Forty-two students were allocated to three different assessment training groups. Students' self-assessments of practical tests were compared with instructors' assessments, depending on training intensity and task type (Pearson's rho, ANOVA, Tukey's post hoc test, Kruskal-Wallis test). Students/instructors were questioned regarding benefits/drawbacks of the criteria.

Results: Student self-assessments showed either consent (24.2%), overestimation (31%) or underestimation (44.8%). Gender differences were negligible. Regarding passing/failing grades, more intensive training yielded significantly increased agreement only for preparation of gold partial crowns (rho = +0.313, P = 0.044). Ratings exhibited significant differences amongst tasks (P = 0.002), for example, trepanation assessment had significantly lower differences than gold or ceramic preparation assessments. These discrepancies decreased with increased training. Students consistently reported benefitting most from learning the criteria for gold preparations, followed by composite and ceramic preparations. They also reported that learning the criteria was beneficial for knowledge transfer/feedback. Instructors rated the criteria as helpful for task evaluation and feedback efficiency.

Conclusions: Pre-defined assessment criteria may increase consistency between student self-assessment and instructor assessment depending on the task, improving transparency and feedback in dental education.

Keywords: Phantom course in Conservative Dentistry; assessment criteria; dental education; feedback; self-assessment.

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