Changes in students' perceptions of their dental education environment
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
European Journal of Dental Education
Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 122–130, May 2015
How to Cite
Kang, I., Foster Page, L. A., Anderson, V. R., Thomson, W. M. and Broadbent, J. M. (2015), Changes in students' perceptions of their dental education environment. European Journal of Dental Education, 19: 122–130. doi: 10.1111/eje.12112
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2015
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 MAY 2014
- New Zealand Dental Association/Division of Health Sciences
- dental educational environment;
- Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure;
- Bachelor of Dental Surgery;
- students' perceptions;
To examine the ‘Expected’ and ‘Actual’ educational environment experienced by a cohort of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students at the University of Otago's Faculty of Dentistry using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM).
Cohort members were asked to complete five DREEM surveys over the four-year BDS programme. Student expectations at the beginning of their first year were assessed using a modified version of the DREEM questionnaire, while following (standard) DREEM questionnaires at the end of each professional year addressed students' ‘Actual’ perception of the educational environment.
Sixty-six students (99%) completed at least one questionnaire. Overall, the BDS students' perceptions of their educational environment tended to be positive and students identified both perceived strengths and weaknesses in the BDS programme. However, more negative than positive shifts were reported between the ‘Expected’ and ‘Actual’ individual DREEM individual items, suggesting that BDS students initially expected more from their educational environment than they actually experienced. Individual DREEM outcomes undergoing negative and positive shifts differed over the years and varied in number. These may be explained, in part, by changes in the curriculum focus from year to year.
The students' changing DREEM responses over time revealed anticipated and perceived strengths and weaknesses of the BDS curriculum, as well as shifts in students' perceptions in response to curricular changes. However, our findings highlight the potential usefulness for dental education of a measure for use that takes the unique aspects of the dental education environment into account.