Assessment of professional behaviour – A comparison of self-assessment by first year dental students and assessment by staff


S Zijlstra-Shaw, Thomas JB Kropmans and J Tams 



A study was set up to assess usefulness and acceptability of a method of assessing professional behaviour of undergraduate dental students.


The first year preclinical course at the Department of Dentistry and Oral Hygiene, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Materials and Method

A form was developed with an ordinal scale to assess undergraduate professional behaviour. A standard means of carrying out assessment was then undertaken and subsequently used to give feedback to the students at the end of each of three terms. The students’ self-assessment was then compared to that of the staff.


Descriptive analysis of the results was carried out per term. The response rate was 80-85%. The significant difference which existed between the scores of students and staff at the start of the study was reduced to reasonable agreement over two of the three criteria.


The study indicated that the initial difference in assessment of their professional behaviour by first year dental students and by staff, was reduced by the forms and procedure used. This indicates the usefulness of the procedure as a teaching aid. The high participation rate confirms this to be an acceptable means of assessment of dental students’ professional behaviour.

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