“Well nobody reads learning outcomes do they?” – an evaluation of CAA and its feedback on directed student learning
conference contributionposted on 26.05.2006, 09:41 by Sophie Brettell, Justin Durham, Steve McHanwell
Traditionally anatomy is taught to dental students in the first one or two years of their course and not revisited. The problem with separating this basic, discipline-specific knowledge from that needed for clinical practice is that students can view anatomy as a mass of facts, learnt for examinations and then forgotten. Such superficial learning can be partly overcome by using case-led or problem-solving approaches but the students do not have enough clinical experience to see these examples as anything more than vignettes. Therefore a collaborative project between an anatomist, dental surgeon and a learning technologist was funded by the LTSN-01 to develop six clinically relevant anatomy tutorials for final year students, running on the university’s virtual learning environment. Participation was voluntary in the first year of the project upon which this study is based. The vertical integration of basic and clinical science is one of the important principles adopted by the General Dental Council in its document that sets out the framework for dental education in the UK (ref here!). This integration is also of pedagogical importance as it provides a means to “link theoretical ideas with practice” (Ramsden, 2003) and thus can contribute to effective teaching, moving students further up the critical matrix of learning (Light and Cox, 2001). This issue of integrating factual content with professional practice throughout a professional programme (ie vertical integration) is faced by many subject areas, for example Law, Speech and Language Sciences and Medicine, and so it is hoped that the results of this initial study will be of interest to those beyond Dentistry.
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