n South African Journal of Higher Education - New methods for teaching Oral Biology to dental students

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



An outcomes-based dental curriculum has necessitated revision in course structure, content and teaching methodologies, to ensure horizontal and vertical integration. This study compared the Oral Biology courses taught at the four universities involved in training undergraduate dental students in South Africa. The relevance of each topic was then assessed by 120 practising dentists on a five-point Likert scale. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were used to evaluate the data. All four universities presented similar topics, but differed widely in their modes of tuition. However, lectures were still the predominant form of teaching. More than 75 per cent of the respondents rated all the topics as extremely relevant except for embryology, calcium and bone metabolism, taste and deglutition, and forensics (rated relevant by only 57 per cent, 60 per cent, 70 per cent and 45 per cent respectively). More than 25 per cent of the respondents were unsure of the relevance of embryology (28%); calcium metabolism (30%) and forensic dentistry (37%). This study confirmed the need for peer review to help design new, outcomes-based courses.

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