Prof Paul Ichim, DMD Course Coordinator, School of Dentistry, UWA
Prof Camile Farah, Head of School, School of Dentistry, UWA
Come along to a presentation about how the School of Dentistry at UWA has developed and implemented a longitudinal, competency-based clinical assessment system. Its development was supported by a Futures Observatory Scholarship and is a joint effort between the School of Dentistry and the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at UWA. This system is now utilised school-wide at the School of Dentistry.
Its development was driven by the need to have a modern and robust competency-based assessment system that improves student learning, assists teaching and provides predictive data for future clinical performance of the student. This is particularly important in dentistry as dental students can practice dentistry as independent practitioners immediately after graduation.
The system is in fact an on on-line database structured around “core” and “silo” competencies as they translate to clinical dental practice. Students’ performance in attaining these competencies is tracked throughout the duration of the course and therefore one can monitor the progress, level of performance and its repeatability as well as the spectrum of competencies covered.
Other existing clinical assessment systems use a static, number-based approach. These are based on the inherent assumption that is a task is performed a number of times then at the end of this repetitive process then the associated competencies would have been attained. It is obvious therefore that with such systems the focus is on quantity rather than quality, is time-bounded and does not give enough information to easily identify the areas needing improvement.
The system which has been developed allows for the performance to be monitored longitudinally with a bias for quality rather than quantity using specific clinical dental criterion-referenced assessment rubrics.
The collected data is available in real-time individually to the students and to the staff using a simple web browser. The student has the benefit of receiving objective feed-back that tracks their own progress and identifies precisely the core competencies that need improvement. The staff and the school can monitor more efficiently the clinical performance of the students, either on individual or as a group
Although the application has been developed for dental teaching the platform can be translated to any other course that is competency-based and uses CRA to assess the student performance. It can customised to specific needs, deployed in a variety of environments and to use it one would need just internet access and a web browser.