Evaluating and Improving the Assessment and Consistency of Feedback within the Clinical Skills Laboratory at Dundee Dental School

  • Ahmed Amru Mhanni

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Due to the increasing demand from teaching institutions and the General Dental Council to provide dental students with accurate assessment and feedback, the focus of this thesis is to evaluate and improve assessment and feedback at Dundee Dental School. The aim is to determine and appraise assessment tools used in evaluating the clinical skills of dental students in laboratory setting. In addition, the purpose of this thesis is to further develop the assessment tools to provide valid and reliable assessment and feedback on students’ performance.

Dental students practise clinical procedures in clinical skills laboratories which are evaluated by qualified staff. Effective evaluation should be valid (accurate and reliable) and produce consistently useful feedback. In this thesis, assessment of experienced (senior) examiners demonstrated, unrepeatable (intra-examiner) and reproducible (inter-examiner) evaluation of class II amalgam cavity and full veneer gold shell crown preparations in a clinical skills laboratory (Chapters 3 and 4).

Further assessment of a wider group of additional teaching staff also demonstrated poor levels of intra-examiner reliability (repeatability) and inter-examiner reliability (reproducibility) (Chapter 4).

Concentrating on the senior examiners, consistent methods, including the use of novel tools, were then devised and tested to improve intra-examiner repeatability and inter-examiner reproducibility. These methods also included feedback sheets which served to provide feedback for students (Chapter 5).

Grades awarded from the best senior examiner who had the highest level of intra- and inter-examiner repeatability and reproducibility, respectively, were then tested against known developed standard criteria as well as actual preparations to establish the validity of these grades (Chapter 6).

The checklist is the most common assessment method which is used within the Clinical Skills Laboratory in Universities. From five consistent methods, new checklists and reliable tools were established and tested again to demonstrate improved validity and reliability of awarded grades as well as feedback consistency (Chapter 7).

This process now requires further testing with another cohort of preparations to affirm its usefulness. The new cohort should include tooth preparations by both novice and expert operators to reflect a greater range of abilities and thus test the assessment process more rigorously.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsUniversity of Tripoli
SupervisorAndrew Hall (Supervisor), David Ricketts (Supervisor) & Graham Chadwick (Supervisor)


  • Dental education
  • Dentistry
  • Dental
  • Assessment
  • Clinical decision-making

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