Comparison of Dental Students' Self-Directed, Faculty, and Software-Based Assessments of Dental Anatomy Wax-Ups: A Retrospective Study.J Dent Educ. 2015 Dec; 79(12):1437-44.JD
Little is known about self-directed and self-reflective assessment in preclinical dental curricula. The aim of this study was to evaluate a visual dental anatomy teaching tool to train dental students to self-assess their dental anatomy wax carving practical examinations. The students self-assessed two waxing practical examinations (tooth #8 and tooth #19) using high-quality digital images in an assessment tool incorporated into a digital testing program. Student self-assessments were compared to the faculty evaluations and the results of a software-based evaluation tool (E4D Compare). Out of a total 130 first-year dental students at one U.S. dental school, wax-ups from 57 participants were available for this study. The assessment data were submitted to statistical analyses (p<0.05). For tooth #8, the student self-assessments were significantly different from the faculty and software assessments at a 400 micrometer level of tolerance (p=0.036), whereas the faculty assessment was not significantly different from the software assessment at a 300 micrometer level of tolerance (p=0.69). The evaluation of tooth #19 resulted in no significant differences between faculty members (p=0.94) or students (p=0.21) and the software at a level of tolerance of 400 micrometers. This study indicates that students can learn to self-assess their work using self-reflection in conjunction with faculty guidance and that it may be possible to use software-based evaluation tools to assist in faculty calibration and as objective grading tools.