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. 2018 Sep;82(9):943-948.
doi: 10.21815/JDE.018.092.

Dental Students' Factual and Procedural Knowledge Retention in Operative Dentistry in a Clinical Dental Curriculum

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Dental Students' Factual and Procedural Knowledge Retention in Operative Dentistry in a Clinical Dental Curriculum

Tim Hausdörfer et al. J Dent Educ. .

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate dental students' retention of factual and procedural knowledge gained in a preclinical course in operative dentistry during a clinical dental curriculum. In 2017, all 157 seventh- to tenth-semester dental students at a dental school in Germany were asked to repeat the same written examination performed at the end of the preclinical course in the sixth semester. The examinations consisted of 30 multiple-choice questions covering factual and procedural knowledge. The percentage of correctly answered questions per exam and differences in correct answers between the original examination and the re-examination (per question) were analyzed. Students were also asked to self-rate their percentage of correctly answered questions and their knowledge in various disciplines of operative dentistry at the times of the original examination and the re-examination. After exclusions, data were analyzed for 129 students, for a participation rate of 82%. For the seventh- and tenth-semester students, the results on the original examination and the re-examination were not significantly different, while the eighth- and ninth-semester students performed significantly better on the original examination than the re-examination. In all semesters, procedural knowledge remained stable between the original examination and the re-examination, while factual knowledge decreased slightly. Their performance on the original examination was underestimated by the eighth- and ninth-semester students. All the students underestimated their performance on the re-examination. Students mostly rated their knowledge level significantly higher on the original examination than on the re-examination. Overall, this study found that factual and procedural knowledge gained in a preclinical course in operative dentistry was not increased during the clinical dental curriculum.

Keywords: assessment; dental education; operative dentistry; self-assessment.

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