Dental students' opinions of preparation assessment with E4D compare software versus traditional methods.J Dent Educ. 2014 Oct; 78(10):1424-31.JD
The aim of this study was to evaluate dental students' opinions regarding the utilization of a new grading software program for student self-assessment and a faculty-grading tool in a preclinical course. Using surface mapping technology, this program, called E4D Compare, yields a digital model of a student's preparation that is color-coded to show deficient areas. The program has now been used for two years at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, and the students previously assessed with E4D Compare have now entered into the dental clinics. For this study, students were asked to complete an anonymous survey for the investigators to evaluate students' attitudes and opinions on the effectiveness of this software in their preclinical courses to determine if this type of feedback helped them develop clinical skills. The survey also sought to collect students' opinions on the traditional objective criteria-based grading system. The survey was distributed to all members of the Classes of 2014 and 2015; it yielded a 59 percent response rate for the two classes, with a total of eighty-one students responding. Overall, the majority of students preferred the E4D Compare grading system over traditional hand-grading methods. The grading system provided instant, objective, and visual feedback that allowed students to easily see where their deficiencies were and encouraged them to work towards an ideal final product.