This article was originally published here
GMS J Med Educ. 2021 Jun 15;38(5):Doc89. doi: 10.3205/zma001485. eCollection 2021.
Background: Due to the need for patient-free dental education during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hannover Medical School (MHH) implemented a new periodontology module. Its didactic structure was based on the “inverted classroom model” (ICM) in combination with elements of case-based learning. The educational objective was to increase the diagnostic confidence of dental students in the classification of periodontal patients (staging & grading), based on 33 digitized patient cases. To assess the suitability of the module for future dental curricula, this study aimed to evaluate student satisfaction and skills acquisition. Methods: The periodontology module, which was attended by final year dental students of MHH (n=55, mean age: 26.5±3.9 years, male/female ratio: 24.1%/75.9%) was evaluated in a two-tiered way. Student satisfaction was recorded using a questionnaire. Learning success was assessed by comparing error rates in patient case classifications before (T0) and after (T1) participation in the periodontology module. Results: The study found a high level of student satisfaction with the ICM format and a significant reduction in error rates (T0 error rate=28.3%; MV±SD=3.12±1.67 vs. T1 error rate=18.7%; MV±SD=2.06±1.81; Δ=9.6%). However, of the 11 diagnostic decisions required, only four parameters (extent, grading, percentage of bone loss per age, phenotype) showed significant improvements, with effect sizes ranging from small to medium. Conclusions: The ICM-based teaching concept is definitely not an alternative to patient-based learning. However, in regard to student satisfaction and learning success, it might be superior to conventional classroom-based lectures, especially when complex topics are covered. In summary, the newly developed periodontology module may be a useful addition to traditional dental education in future curricula, even for the time after the COVID-19 pandemic.