Teacher-centred education dominates dental education in China. Student-centred education has recently been introduced in the School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, and the effectiveness of such methods needs to be tested. The purpose of this study is to compare the learning outcomes of case-based learning (CBL) and lecture-based education (LBE) in an oral medicine curriculum.
Materials and methods
We chose oral leukoplakia as the learning subject for dental students. Forty fourth-year dental students participated in the study. First, they were presented to basic knowledge of oral leukoplakia and related oral mucosal diseases. Then, they were divided into a CBL group (n = 20) and an LBE group (n = 20) by random numbers. The groups experienced the remaining course in separate groups. All students answered a questionnaire on their satisfaction with the education and the same standardised written test to analyse their learning outcomes.
Both CBL and LBE courses were well accepted by students according to the satisfactory scores of the questionnaire. The test scores of the CBL group (90.00 ± 6.69) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those of the LBE group (83.00 ± 6.77). The percentage of high test score (test score ≥ 85) of the CBL group (85%) was also significantly higher (P < 0.01) than that of the LBE group (45%).
In this example, CBL was found to be more effective than LBE to teach dental students. These findings suggest that CBL should be added in our future oral medicine curriculum for dental students.