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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 391-395

Assessment of undergraduate oral medicine and radiology curriculum by student evaluation


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India
4 Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Guru Nanak Dev Dental College, Sunam, Punjab, India

Date of Submission10-Mar-2016
Date of Acceptance20-Jan-2017
Date of Web Publication21-Feb-2017

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harneet Singh
Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.JIAOMR_26_16

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   Abstract 

Introduction: Oral medicine and radiology (OMR) as a subject requires in-depth knowledge for its application in every wake of academic and clinical life. It becomes the duty of teachers in this field to continuously appraise the subject for its betterment. Ironically the subject of OMR is becoming less popular among the students. Aims and Objectives: To assess undergraduate curriculum by obtaining feedback evaluation from interns and to evaluate the utility of this curriculum in clinical practice. Materials and Methods: A sample size of 220 students was selected among interns. They were asked to fill up the questionnaire given to them for the evaluation of the curriculum. Results: 25% respondents found the subject interesting whereas 46% of them thought it stimulated further reading. 62.72% found it easier to understand. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders were considered as the most difficult topic. Extra-oral radiography along with panoramic radiography were considered as topics which required in-depth explanation. 72.72% did not feel the need for inclusion of any other topics in the curriculum and felt that it was sufficient for them. 81.36% were completely satisfied by the audio-visual content as well. Conclusion: The curriculum should be designed to accommodate more of clinical skills and have a formative educational role. These modifications according to the needs of the students can actually enlighten the path towards betterment of the subject and acceptability from the student's perspective.

Keywords: Assessment, curriculum, evaluation, oral medicine, radiology


How to cite this article:
Gupta A, Singh H, Arya TL, Kumar A, Sunil MK. Assessment of undergraduate oral medicine and radiology curriculum by student evaluation. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2016;28:391-5

How to cite this URL:
Gupta A, Singh H, Arya TL, Kumar A, Sunil MK. Assessment of undergraduate oral medicine and radiology curriculum by student evaluation. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Jan 28];28:391-5. Available from: https://www.jiaomr.in/text.asp?2016/28/4/391/200639


   Introduction Top


Nowadays, teachers in the medical profession require valid assessment and appraisal for their teaching skills for continuous betterment and enhancement in this field of expertise. Evaluation of learning, teaching and curriculum is an integral component in the development of doctors. Evaluation of any higher education related program is deemed to be a valuable process.[1] In the process of teaching–learning, the utility of feedback from students to evaluate a teaching curriculum is extremely important. With insufficient exposure, oral medicine and radiology (OMR) in the field of dentistry has gained little attention and importance at the undergraduate level. Therefore, this survey was formulated to evaluate the teaching–learning process in OMR and to further improve upon this curriculum.


   Aim and Objectives Top


The main aim of this study was to assess undergraduate OMR curriculum; the objectives were to obtain feedback from interns and graduates for the assessment of effectiveness of undergraduate teaching curriculum, to evaluate the utility of this curriculum in clinical practice, and take necessary steps for further improvement of the teaching process.


   Materials and Methods Top


As per the curriculum drafted by the Dental Council of India and academic committee of the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences (PBDSUHS), Rohtak, Haryana, India [Table 1], 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students of different colleges affiliated to PBDSUHS were exposed to 80 theory lectures of one hour each and clinical posting of 150 hours over a period of 2 years. The students were exposed to half an hour of clinical discussion everyday during the clinical posting in addition to chairside teaching. These lectures were conducted by the teaching faculty of the department of OMR and the topics of these lectures were divided according to the curriculum. To evaluate and judge the utility of this educational curriculum from student's point of view, a relevant and simple questionnaire was designed as follows:
Table 1: Curriculum adapted by the university

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Question 1. Rate the type of response generated towards the topics covered in class-

  1. Interesting
  2. Stimulates further reading
  3. Useful in clinical practice
  4. Of no use at all.


Question 2. Rate the understandability of the covered topics-

  1. Easy to understand
  2. Difficult to understand
  3. Not comprehensible.


Question 3. Please list the topics which were difficult to be understood.

Question 4. Please list the topics which require in depth explanation.

Question 5. Are the number of lectures taken sufficient to provide an in-depth view of the subject of OMR?

  1. Yes
  2. No.


Question 6. If no, which topics would you like to be added to the lecture schedule? Please list.

Question 7. Is the audiovisual content sufficient in the lectures taken?

  1. Yes
  2. No.


Question 8. If no, then what additional methods of teaching media would you prefer?

Question 9. Any other comments.

Question 10. Your views about the application of OMR knowledge in clinical practice.

The questionnaire was designed by an expert panel comprising mainly elite faculty associated with the subject of OMR along with the teachers of other subjects who had direct associations with the specialty in terms of diagnostic evaluations and radiological aspects. This questionnaire was further validated by distributing it among a small group of students as pilot procedures to determine its relevance. After complete deliberation and approval, it was used in the original study. The Paniott's formula was used and the sample size was calculated considering 10% margin of error with a design effect of 1.8 for cluster sampling technique and adjusted to 20% nonresponse rate. A sample size of 216 was calculated. This study utilized cluster (colleges) sampling technique as out of the 10 colleges in Haryana affiliated to PBDSUHS, Rohtak, 7 colleges (clusters) were selected and out of these colleges, 1 student of every third roll number was systematically selected. The final sample size was rounded off to 220 students. These 220 students doing internship in various colleges were given the questionnaire to fill. Students from various institutions with similar curriculum were asked for an anonymous feedback to avoid bias. They were specifically asked to give only a single response to each of the questions to avoid any statistical errors.


   Results Top


The results were analyzed by calculating the percentage response to each question. The analysis revealed that question number 1 which rated the type of response towards the topics covered in class garnered approximately 25% response toward the subject being interesting. Forty-six percent of the students thought that the subject of OMR stimulated further reading, whereas 27% of the students valued the importance of OMR in clinical practice. Only 4% of the total students thought that this subject was of no use at all.

Question number 2 of the survey was related to the rating of the understandability of the covered topics. A good 62.72% of the students thought that subject was relatively easier to understand, whereas only 26.36% of the student found difficulty in understanding the concepts of this subject. 10% of the students did not find the topics of the subject to be comprehensible at all.

In question 3, students were required to provide the list of topics which they thought were difficult to understand. TMJ disorders were considered to be the most difficult topic to understand as 19.09% of the students mention the same; it was closely followed by the specialized radiographic techniques as 18.63% of the students thought the topics to be difficult. Orofacial pain was also one of the major topics that was found to be difficult as 15.9% of the students found it hard to understand. Another topic of radiation physics and basics in radiology were found slightly difficult to understand by 11.36% of the students. Other topics which were found difficult to be understood by the students have been presented in [Graph 1] [Table 2]. Out the few selected topics which students found difficult to understand, the physiology of pain and management of various types of orofacial pain was found to be the most difficult aspects. They also found it difficult to get a grasp of the various disc related disorders of the temporomandibular joint. On the radiology front, students failed to easily understand the intricacies of radiation physics and principles of specialized radiographic techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).

Table 2: List of topics that were difficult to understand according to the students

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[Graph 2] illustrates the findings of question 4, in which students were required to mention the topics which required an in-depth explanation from the teachers [Table 3]. Regarding question 5, which measured the satisfaction of students related to the number of lectures, a positive response of 72.72% was generated from the students whereas 25.45% were of the opinion that more lectures were required to understand the subject well. Question 6 was answered by only 27.27% of the students, whereas 72.72% did not feel the need for inclusion of any other extra topics in the present lecture schedule. In question 7, students were asked if the audiovisual content was sufficient during the lectures; 81.36% were completely satisfied by the audiovisual content; however, 16.81% thought that some more audiovisual content was required to understand certain topics. Fifteen out of 220 students suggested a few advanced and latest techniques for audiovisual enhancement in question 8.

Table 3: List of topics which required in-depth explanation

Click here to view


Students were also asked to provide some comments in question 9. Several suggestions were given by the students such as the provision of notes during lectures, circulation of hard/soft copy of the presentations, more stress on clinical teaching, periodic tests, class quizzes to ensure an interesting study pattern, giving students an incentive to study, reduction of subject material to exclude specialized topics, and small group activities to enhance clinical skills. Some students also suggested that Saturday afternoon lectures should not be held as they found it hard to concentrate on weekends. They were also concerned about their failure to follow-up the treatment of the patients that they saw during their clinical postings.

In question 10, students were also asked to express their views regarding the application of OMR knowledge in clinical practice. Ninety percent of the respondents felt that radiology knowledge is definitely helpful in daily practice. More than 70% lacked the acumen to diagnose oral mucosal lesions, orofacial pain, and TMJ disorders. They found it difficult to manage such problems and preferred to refer the patients to institutions having an Oral physician or Oral surgeon.


   Discussion Top


Morris in 1967 stated that “Dentists are now concerned not with the treatment of teeth in patients, but with the treatment of patients having teeth.” OMR is an absolute specialty which stands true to these words. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine “Oral Medicine is defined as a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with oral health care of medically compromised patients and with the diagnosis and nonsurgical management of medically related disorders or conditions affecting oral and para-oral structures.” With the changes in health care delivery and advancements in medicine, there are now increased demands on academic faculty, leading to scarcity of time for academic teaching as compared to the yester years of dentistry when there was a lot to teach and less to perform.[2] According to Harden et al. in 2000 and Rabbani et al. in 2006, a positive approach towards education and research, hospital and clinical issues, and quality assessment leads to an improvement in the quality of educational programs.[3],[4] This assessment of curriculum from the students' perspective puts forth the effectiveness and utility of undergraduate curriculum so that if required further and necessary measures can be taken for the improvement of the subject.

In our study, 98% of the students considered the subject to be interesting, helpful in clinical practice, and felt the urge to read the subject. Likewise, in a study conducted by Farzianpour et al. in 2007, approximately 89.9% of the graduates of clinical sciences were satisfied with the methodology and design of the educational programs.[5] Most of the respondents found the topics easy to understand while many of the students found it difficult to understand certain topics such as TMJ disorders, specialized radiographic techniques and orofacial pain. However, the feedback revealed that certain topics such as extraoral radiography including panoramic radiography, oral manifestations of systemic disorders, TMJ disorders, and digital radiography were few of the crunch topics, which required an in-depth explanation from the teacher's side. A majority felt that the number of lectures taken were sufficient and satisfactory in audiovisual content. This is in accordance with the study of Olapiriyakul and Scher, in which approximately 78% of the students stated that power point presentations were a very “useful, concise and clear” and thought that these were “an effective instructional method” to help them understand the subject well.[6]

There were also some interesting and thought provoking suggestions made by the students for the improvement of the teaching curriculum in the subject of OMR. Students stressed upon the need for more interactive and clinical based teaching. This concurs with a study conducted by Najafipoor in 2005, in which 62% students confirmed that their knowledge was based on clinical diagnoses and decision-making in the treatment of diseases.[7] They also suggested that it would be prudent to have more blended teaching programs which involve both face-to-face and modern audio visual teaching aids including online instructions. This has also been stressed upon by Kavadella et al. in 2011, who developed and implemented a blended course on undergraduate oral radiology and further evaluated it in comparison with conventional teaching in their study.[8] The problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum is also presumed to be a better setting for promoting interest and motivation and developing an inquisitive mind. Some of the students also thought that small group activities and self-directed learning should be incorporated to stimulate interest in particular subjects.


   Conclusion Top


With the subject of OMR losing its charm due to novelty of other clinical subjects such as oral surgery and endodontics, it becomes the responsibility of teachers to device a curriculum which is acceptable to students and holds the true value of the subject. For this, evaluation and assessment are the basic essentials of a training program. The objective of assessment should be the development of reliable measures which have predictive value for clinical competence and also have a formative educational role. It is the responsibility of the teachers to frame a curriculum that is clinically relevant and student centered, keeping in mind the recommendations of the students. The acceptance of this curriculum revised according to the needs of the students and modified to cater their shortcomings in understandability can pave the way for a brighter prospect for the subject as well as the students who can understand the importance of oral medicine, diagnosis, and radiology in their academic life ahead.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Mehralizadeh Y, Pakseresht MJ, Baradaran M, Shahi S. The dilemma of internal evaluation in higher education: A longitudinal case study. Qual Assurance Educ 2007;15:334.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Ozuah PO. Undergraduate medical education: Thoughts on future challenges. BMC Med Educ 2002;2:8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Harden R, Crosby J, Davis MH, Howie PW, Struthers AD. Task based learning: The answer to integration and problem-based learning in the clinical years. Med Educ 2000;34:391-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Rabbani A, Farzianpour F, Zamani GH, Zinaloo AA, Shajari H. Internal evaluation in Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, TUMS. Iran J Pediatr 2006;16:301.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Farzianpour F, Emami AH, Davari-Tanha F, Hosseini S, Farzanehnejad AR. Educational programs' quality assessment based on graduates' comments. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2010;12:302-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Olapiriyakul K, Scher JM. A guide to establishing hybrid learning courses: Employing information technology to create a new learning experience, and a case study. Internet Higher Educ 2006;9:287-301.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Najafipoor S, Azizi F, Najafipoor F. Survey viewpoints of graduates' medicine for education of orientation community in Shiraz, Iran. Proceedings of the 7th National Congress of Medical Education. Tabriz, Iran: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences Press; 2005.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Kavadella A, Tsiklakis K, Vougiouklakis G, Lionarakis A. Evaluation of a blended learning course for teaching oral radiology to undergraduate dental students. Eur J Dent Educ 2012;16:e88-95.  Back to cited text no. 8
    



 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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