Evaluating major curriculum change: the effect on student confidence

V. Bissell (Lead / Corresponding author), D. P. Robertson, C. W. McCurry, J. P. G. McAleer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
249 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of major curriculum change within a UK dental school on final-year student self-rated confidence levels.

Methods: Final-year dental students graduating in each year between 2007 and 2012 completed the same course evaluation questionnaire, which assessed their confidence in relation to a range of clinical procedures using a Likert-type scale. This period spanned the introduction of a new curriculum and allowed analysis of differences in self-rated confidence between students graduating from the old (2007 and 2008) and new (2009–2012) curricula, across thirty key procedures.

Results: New curriculum students showed significantly higher self-confidence ratings in nineteen of the thirty procedures, compared with those on the old curriculum. For the remaining eleven procedures there was no significant difference between the two curricula. The proportion of students on the outcomes-based curriculum rating themselves as 'confident” was statistically significantly higher in seven out of the thirty procedures, when compared with the traditional curriculum, and unchanged or nonsignificantly increased in the remainder.

Discussion and conclusions
: The relationship between specific curricular innovations and student confidence is considered, as is the usefulness of self-rated confidence in curriculum evaluation. Curriculum change appeared to have a positive effect on student confidence across a range of procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number7
Early online date23 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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