Structured evaluation and need-based restructuring of the cranio-maxillofacial surgery module within surgical clerkship

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2017 May;45(5):628-633. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2017.01.031. Epub 2017 Feb 13.


Background: Evaluations are important for teaching courses and contribute to educational quality assurance. CMF surgery provides a module in the skills-lab week in preparation for surgical clerkship. Even though the CMF module receives positive evaluations, the students report deviating content. Subsequently, exams skills were often not mastered correctly. The aim of this study is to gather the contents taught within the course and to revise the module accordingly.

Methods: A structured evaluation sheet was used to evaluate the CMF modules. The detailed time frame used, teaching methods integrated, and learning objectives taught were documented. Based on the results, the module was restructured and re-evaluated twice.

Results: There were substantial fluctuations among the taught learning objectives in the first evaluation (21%-47% of the objectives were totally covered). The deployed time (160.50 ± 32.55 min) for the module was much shorter than scheduled (210 min). After restructuring, more learning objectives were totally covered (44%-100%), which corresponds to a significant gain (p = .024). The deployed teaching time for the modules was used more efficiently (183.65 ± 21.10 min/p = .005), and the additional time (51.89 ± 21.23 min vs. 37.55 ± 16.06 min before/p = .011) was used mainly for practical exercises.

Conclusion: Structured evaluations are a meaningful tool for gaining valuable insights regarding the contents and quality of teaching courses and pinpointing potential for improvement. Key factors for the improvement of an educational module are the definition of learning goals within the context of a transparent and structured module.

Keywords: Blueprint; CMF surgery; Learning goals; Medical education; Quality assurance in education; Structured evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship* / methods
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surgery, Oral / education*
  • Teaching