Utilizing Dental Student Feedback to Enhance Service-Learning
Background: Student feedback obtained through traditional end-of-course evaluations may not provide information needed to make substantive adjustment to course curricula. Mid-point student evaluations could potentially provide greater insight for improved teaching and instructional changes. Purpose: This paper describes the use of mid-course feedback to modify the structure and enhance student experience for a service-learning (SL) program. Methodology: Dental students completed mid-course surveys during four academic years, ranking their perceptions of level of preparedness for, and value of, the SL program components as well as suggestions for program improvement. Results were analysed for differences by academic year. Qualitative analysis was conducted for open-ended questions. Findings: Students’ rankings varied by SL activity but were primarily positive for all academic years. Statistically significant increases in student value for specific program activities were observed in later years in response to course changes. Over time, student recommendations changed from an early focus on logistics to an emphasis on program content and value. Implications: Actively seeking timely and specific feedback from students enabled course faculty to make changes that lead to improvement in students’ experience and a greater appreciation of the purpose of SL.
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