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Effects of a Case-Based Discussion on Educational Outcomes in Dental Students

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posted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by Jaime Ann Chowaniec
Purpose: To determine the effects and timing of a case-based discussion on knowledge, preferences, and self-confidence in second-year dental students in a pediatric dentistry course. This study investigated the hypothesis that a case-based discussion, along with a lecture, improves students’ performance on a quiz on specific topics in pediatric dentistry.  The study also explored whether conducting the case before a lecture, as an introduction to new material, or afterwards, as a reinforcement, is more effective for learning. Lastly, the study surveyed students’ preferences and self-confidence. Methods: Using a crossover design, students participated in a case-based discussion either before or after lectures on stainless steel crowns and pulp therapy. For a control unit on space maintenance, no case-based discussion was held. Students took quizzes a week after the lectures and were surveyed on their experiences. Results: Forty-five out of 52 second-year dental students consented to have their scores used in the study. Students performed better on a quiz when participating in a case-based discussion after the lecture (mean score after=6.1, SD 0.9 compared to before=5.5, SD 1.3, repeated measures ANOVA: F=8.68, 1df, P=.005). Improvements in quiz scores were not associated with a case discussion plus a lecture, compared to a lecture alone. Students preferred having the case after the lecture (70% vs 30%,(X^2 =7.7(1df), P=.01) and felt more confident when the case was held after the lecture (12.7 vs 11.6, F=5.6(1,86df), P=.02).  Conclusions: This novel study shows higher quiz scores and self-confidence when a case discussion is held after a lecture, as well as student preference for that timing.



Koerber, Anne


Koerber, Anne


Pediatric Dentistry

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Committee Member

Doubleday, Alison LeHew, Charles Salzmann, Larry

Submitted date

August 2017

Issue date