Setting Expectations About Feedback in Dental Education

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2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Many dental students find the amount of direct feedback they receive in dental school to be both unfamiliar and uncomfortable, as many new hand-skill courses are added to familiar lecture courses and traditional paper-and-pencil tests. In turn, when students react poorly to routine professional feedback, dental school faculty often complain they are too fragile. To address this clear gap in expectations between students and faculty in regard to feedback activities, this half-day workshop was developed for use during student orientation. Methods: In this workshop, students learn the theory of deliberate practice and the role that professional feedback will play in their training. Small-group workshops discuss past student experiences with feedback and use an origami exercise to explore student reactions to feedback. As is commonly done in technique courses, discussions about self- and peer assessment raise students' comfort levels with respect to sharing their work with their peers. Additionally, addressing feedback issues early in their professional education makes students aware of feedback's necessity in their professional development and helps them to deal with the emotional impact. Results: When we evaluated this course in 2014 and 2015, students rated this activity significantly higher than other orientation activities. Discussion: After several years of working with students who have had this orientation, faculty and administrators consider it highly valuable for setting expectations about feedback. They have also experienced fewer student concerns and complaints regarding feedback issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10580
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - May 10 2017


  • Dental
  • Feedback
  • Stress


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