The aim of this prospective learning research study is to examine the impact of structured elaborative feedback in clinical dental skills teaching from the students' perspective.
A total of 60 dental students participated in the study. The mean average age was 23 years (20-40 years), of which 37 were female (61.7%) and 23 male (38.3%). The participants were randomly divided into a study and control group (n=30 each). The curriculum for clinical tooth-shade differentiation is a complete educational module. Recording of shade taking was carried out on the phantom patient using clinically simulated settings with elaborative feedback in the study group. Pre-test (begin of module T1) and post-test (end of module T2) questionnaires were used to assess knowledge and interest in connection with elaborative feedback. Subjective learning success from the students' perspective and the acceptance of the learning environment were recorded using a questionnaire at the end of the module. The responses corresponded to a Likert scale. The STATA program (Stata/MP 12, StataCorp, CollegeStation, USA) was used for statistical analyses (p<0.05).
A clear improvement in the quality of response in both groups was observed for questions regarding knowledge of the content and interest (p<0.001). The highest values were achieved at reference time T2 for "Practical steps with digital tooth-shade measurement devices" in the study group. Subjective success in terms of learning and the acceptance of the learning environment tended to be rated more highly in the study group. These results corresponded with the reduction of errors during the practical exercises. All participants (100%) in the study group found individual feedback to be helpful.