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Undergraduate dental students’ perceptions of head and neck anatomy teaching in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 13:09 authored by Hassan, NM, Akhter, R, Al-Aubaidy, H, Flatau, A

Introduction: Most Australian universities have abbreviated the anatomy curriculum and modified its mode of delivery. This study examines dental student perceptions of different methods of head and neck anatomy teaching with respect to the adequacy of allocated time and the relative meaningfulness of the teaching methods.

Methods: All second-year students in the School of Dentistry and Health Sciences at Charles Sturt University (CSU) were invited to complete a matrix-grid questionnaire. Participants were asked to score four methods of teaching (lectures, study of prosected materials, tutorials and quizzes) using a 5-point Likert scale. The questionnaire included questions about the time adequacy for anatomy lectures, tutorials and laboratory study, and the potential value of learning anatomy through the study of prosected materials. SPSS (Version 21.0) was used to analyse the data, and statistical significance was set at 0.05.

Results: Seventy-two students (79.5%) responded to the survey. Overall, learning anatomy through the study of prosected materials was the single highest scored method, followed by lectures, tutorials and quizzes. Graduate entrants felt that not enough time was devoted to learning anatomy through the study of prosected materials, compared with school leavers (89.4% and 10.6%, respectively), having one extra session of learning in the anatomy laboratory (71.4% and 28.6%, respectively) and adding dissection (75.0% and 25.0%, respectively) would be helpful.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that dental students perceive the study of prosected materials in the wet laboratory as the most valuable method of learning anatomy, but an extended anatomy curriculum would be even more effective and appreciated.


Publication title

European journal of dental education








Tasmanian School of Medicine



Place of publication


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Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum

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    University Of Tasmania