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Development of Case-Based Learning into Dental Practice-Based Learning in the Dentistry Curriculum

Oral Presentation 3
Prof Wendy Turner, Dr Lorna Dysart, Dr Mark Lappin

Development of Case-Based Learning into Dental Practice-Based Learning in the Dentistry Curriculum

Within simulation-based education there are numerous modalities available to allow for the development of structured scenarios that encourage knowledge synthesis and skills development. A type of scenario based simulation is Case-based learning (CBL) which can be used to both broaden learners understanding of a certain clinical topic, but also to develop fundamental clinic skills such as medical history taking, diagnostic skills and improving patient management in a psychologically safe environment. Case-based learning was introduced to QUB final year BDS students in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic where opportunities for clinical teaching were reduced. The challenge for dental educators was to allocate suitable time in the curriculum to implement these simulations once a full clinical timetable resumed. In 2022/2023, Case-Based Learning Scenarios were evolved to be delivered face to face in a dental outreach setting as Dental Practice-based Learning.

Originally a CBL course was delivered remotely using the MS Teams platform due to the Covid- 19 restrictions. Experienced educators facilitated a series of small group teaching sessions for final year dental undergraduates over 2 academic years. Teaching was Restorative Dentistry based and covered a range of clinical and patient management simulated scenarios. Content was standardised across all teaching groups and student feedback was collected. This feedback was highly positive with the majority of students indicating the sessions improved their clinical reasoning and improved their ability to diagnosis dental disease and to treatment plan. At the end final year students are required to submit an Educational Transition Document (ETD) prior to entering the Dental Foundation Programme which was reviewed as part of the feedback for the CBL course, with the ETD highlighting areas were students felt less confident before entering Dental Practice. Informed by this, some areas of CBL teaching were developed into Dental Practice-Based Learning, incorporating specific teaching in areas of lower student confidence, as part of their Outreach Practice attachments. Feedback from students was collected through an on-line questionnaire.

Due to enforced restrictions impacting on face-to-face teaching, different forms of scenario based simulation teaching came to the fore in the undergraduate dental curriculum. Positive feedback from both students and educators identified numerous benefits to continue with scenario based small group teaching. Feedback received from both CBL and recently developed Dental Practice- Based Learning has been well received by students and staff as part of the continuing development of the undergraduate Dentistry Programme at QUB.