A few words about this paper…
A historically significant paper I have to say, and although not yet cited it formed the basis of what I eventually pursued for the last 10 years in the spin-off company, Qpercom. According to the Irish Times, we are “dragging exam assessment out of the dark ages“ (Oct. 2016). This suppressed paper actually forms the basis of what Qpercom has worked to achieve since 2008 with client partners worldwide. From being a PT clinician by training, I moved into medical education. As clinical researchers, we put a lot of effort into developing the Smallest Detectable Difference (SDD), to be detected using a ‘ruler’. Measuring maximal mouth opening with a metal ruler is one of the outcome variables in patients with maxillofacial pain. With the newly acquired evidence that you had to measure at least 12 mm difference in mouth opening before and after an intervention to be successful in patients with temporomandibular joint disc displacement, I changed jobs and moved into medical/dental education. I was immediately challenged to look into comparable measurements used in oral hygiene training. Probing depth measurements were used as an example to demonstrate the use of generalisability and decision studies in educational decision-making. Fourteen years after this publication, we are comparing 10 different European Universities on their quality assurance outcome of OSCEs. Have a read, use the evidence, and I hope this will help students and staff measuring any kind of assessment outcome, plus this historically significant paper needs citations!
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.