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Type: Journal article
Title: Features of an effective operative dentistry learning environment: students' perceptions and relationship with performance
Author: Suksudaj, N.
Lekkas, D.
Kaidonis, J.
Townsend, G.
Winning, T.
Citation: European Journal of Dental Education, 2015; 19(1):53-62
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1396-5883
Statement of
N. Suksudaj, D. Lekkas, J. Kaidonis, G. C. Townsend and T. A. Winning
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Students' perceptions of their learning environment influence the quality of outcomes they achieve. Learning dental operative techniques in a simulated clinic environment is characterised by reciprocal interactions between skills training, staff- and student-related factors. However, few studies have examined how students perceive their operative learning environments and whether there is a relationship between their perceptions and subsequent performance. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify which learning activities and interactions students perceived as supporting their operative skills learning and to examine relationships with their outcomes. METHODS: Longitudinal data about examples of operative laboratory sessions that were perceived as effective or ineffective for learning were collected twice a semester, using written critical incidents and interviews. Emergent themes from these data were identified using thematic analysis. Associations between perceptions of learning effectiveness and performance were analysed using chi-square tests. RESULTS: Students indicated that an effective learning environment involved interactions with tutors and peers. This included tutors arranging group discussions to clarify processes and outcomes, providing demonstrations and constructive feedback. Feedback focused on mistakes, and not improvement, was reported as being ineffective for learning. However, there was no significant association between students' perceptions of the effectiveness of their learning experiences and subsequent performance. CONCLUSIONS: It was clear that learning in an operative technique setting involved various factors related not only to social interactions and observational aspects of learning but also to cognitive, motivational and affective processes. Consistent with studies that have demonstrated complex interactions between students, their learning environment and outcomes, other factors need investigation.
Keywords: simulation clinic; dental student experiences; qualitative research; critical incident
Rights: © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
RMID: 0030011420
DOI: 10.1111/eje.12102
Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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