Journal of dental education | 5 Jan 2017
R Gottlieb, MA Baechle, C Janus and SK Lanning
The aim of this study was to investigate whether advanced simulation parameters, such as simulation exam scores, number of student self-evaluations, time to complete the simulation, and time to complete self-evaluations, served as predictors of dental students' preclinical performance. Students from three consecutive classes (n=282) at one U.S. dental school completed advanced simulation training and exams within the first four months of their dental curriculum. The students then completed conventional preclinical instruction and exams in operative dentistry (OD) and fixed prosthodontics (FP) courses, taken during the first and second years of dental school, respectively. Two advanced simulation exam scores (ASES1 and ASES2) were tested as predictors of performance in the two preclinical courses based on final course grades. ASES1 and ASES2 were found to be predictors of OD and FP preclinical course grades. Other advanced simulation parameters were not significantly related to grades in the preclinical courses. These results highlight the value of an early psychomotor skills assessment in dentistry. Advanced simulation scores may allow early intervention in students' learning process and assist in efficient allocation of resources such as faculty coverage and tutor assignment.
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