About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1645-1656
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

CLINICAL REFLECTIVE LEARNING - ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN ORAL HEALTH

A. Tsang

The University of Queensland (AUSTRALIA)
Traditional clinical teaching and learning in Oral Health and Dentistry often focussed on "technical rationality". Graduates from this way of teaching and learning were often found to be technically competent but deficient in critical thinking, professional reasoning, and self-directed learning. For many students, the technique-focussed approach to clinical learning failed to engage and optimize their learning. For many practitioners, this resulted in a steep learning curve from student status to that of an oral health professional.

The primary aims of this descriptive study were to determine the students' perceptions of clinical reflective practices in enhancing their clinical and professional development. Final year students in Oral Health were introduced to the concepts of reflective learning and writing at the start of the semester. They were required to keep a clinical reflective journal noting specific "critical incidents" that contributed to their clinical learning. Regular clinical reflective small group discussion sessions were also structured into their timetable. Four sequenced questionnaires were completed over the year and students were asked to submit a reflective essay at the end of the second semester. Their perceptions of clinical reflective learning (journals and group discussions) were obtained via quantiative and qualitative analyses of sequenced questionnaires and computer-assisted thematic analyses (Leximancer) of the students' reflective essays and summary notes from class discussions.

Over 80% percent of the students perceived clinical reflective learning to be useful for their clinical and professional development. Students utilized the reflective journal writing to gain insights about their strengths and weaknesses, to think more deeply about what they were doing in the clinic, to consolidate their learning, to unpack difficult concepts through self-directed learning and research and to improve their professional concepts. Clinical reflective group discussions also contributed to students' development, in particular in the area of critical thinking and professional reasoning. Students' perceptions in relations to the relevance of clinical reflective learning to their clinical and professional development improved over time. All but one student were convinced that clinical reflective practices enhanced their clinical learning and enpowered them in their thinking and transformation from students to oral health professionals and should therefore be incorporated as an essential component in oral health and dental training programs.

Clinical reflective learning is relevant to students in oral health and is effective in optimizing the transformation of students to oral health professionals. Through clinical reflective practices, students are better engaged, learning from clinical experiences is optimized and professional development is enhanced.


@InProceedings{TSANG2009CLI,
author = {Tsang, A.},
title = {CLINICAL REFLECTIVE LEARNING - ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN ORAL HEALTH},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1645-1656}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Tsang
TI - CLINICAL REFLECTIVE LEARNING - ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN ORAL HEALTH
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 1645
EP - 1656
ER -
A. Tsang (2009) CLINICAL REFLECTIVE LEARNING - ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN ORAL HEALTH, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 1645-1656.
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