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Effectiveness of PBL methodology in a hybrid dentistry program to enhance students' knowledge and confidence. (a pilot study).

Al-Madi, Ebtissam M; Celur, Sree Lalita; Nasim, Mamoona.
BMC Med Educ; 18(1): 270, 2018 Nov 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30458764

BACKGROUND:

Knowledge and self-confidence are two critical determinants of future success of dental students. The present pilot study was conducted with an objective to simultaneously assess both knowledge and confidence gained by dental undergraduate students in the Head and Neck Anatomy course by employing didactic lecture-based and problem-based learning methods.

METHODS:

A paper-based assessment tool comprising of 30 Multiple choice questions to assess knowledge, followed by a Likert's scale to assess students' confidence to answer the given knowledge question was designed. This tool was used in a cohort of first year dental students before the commencement of Head and Neck Anatomy course (Pre-course), immediately after the completion of Head and Neck Anatomy course (Post-course), and again in third year before the same cohort entered their clinical courses (Pre-clinics). The difference in students' knowledge and confidence through both pedagogies was evaluated by Paired 't' test. Pearson correlation analysis was done to determine the correlation between knowledge scores and self-reported confidence.

RESULTS:

A statistically significant increase (p < 0.05) was noted in the mean knowledge and confidence scores in the post-course evaluation, through both didactic lecture-based and problem-based learning methods. On the other hand, a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the mean knowledge and confidence scores of didactic lecture-based items in comparison to problem-based items was noted in the pre-clinics evaluation.. The post-course evaluation results yielded a Pearson correlation coefficient of r = 0.514, p = 0.002 for lecture-based items and r = 0.495, p = 0.003 for problem-based items, denoting a positive moderate correlation between the knowledge and confidence scores for both lecture-based and problem-based methods.

CONCLUSION:

A significant improvement in both knowledge and self-reported confidence demonstrated at the end of Head and Neck Anatomy course proves both didactic lectures and problem-based learning methods to be equally effective in a hybrid dentistry program in the short term. However, the non-significant reduction in the pre-clinics knowledge and confidence scores among the PBL lessons proves it to be a potent learning tool for long term retention of knowledge, and sustainability of confidence.