The use of post-exam feedback in oral radiology: A survey study of dental and dental hygienist schools in Europe

Eur J Dent Educ. 2023 Nov;27(4):1048-1052. doi: 10.1111/eje.12897. Epub 2023 Jan 29.


Introduction: A combination of summative assessments and post-exam feedback can create a formative environment to support student learning. It remains unknown to what extent feedback sessions are conducted after exams in oral radiology courses for dental and dental hygienist students in Europe. This survey study aimed to explore whether post-exam feedback sessions were conducted, and if so, in what format.

Materials and methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 76 dental schools in 26 countries and 34 dental hygienist schools in 14 countries in Europe. The questions addressed whether feedback was provided after exams in oral radiology, the feedback format, and whether feedback sessions were formalised or performed for other reasons.

Results: Questionnaire responses were received from 33 dental schools in 18 countries, and 20 dental hygienist schools in 11 countries. Information about grades was provided in 23-30% of the schools. Post-exam feedback sessions including opportunities for discussion was provided at 39% of the schools, all with guidelines stating that these sessions should be carried out. The remaining schools provided feedback either on request by individual students or as written examples of correct answers.

Conclusion: Almost one third of the dental schools announced grades without providing any post-exam feedback that could support learning. Two fifth utilised feedback sessions to assist students in gaining knowledge and sorting out misconceptions, all according to guidelines. Given the possible learning potential in post-exam feedback with opportunity to discuss, further studies of this format would be valuable, including the role and use of feedback guidelines.

Keywords: examination; feedback; learning outcomes; oral radiology; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Hygienists
  • Education, Dental
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Europe
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Radiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires