Learning through Experience: Dental Students’ Reflection on Community-Based Health Promotion Course

Sasitorn Chaiprasitti, Piyanart Chatiketu, Songvuth Tuongratanaphan, Tidawan Wiwatkunupakan, Patcharawan Srisilapanan, Atisak Chuengpattanawadee, Wichai Wiwatkhunupakan

Abstract


Background: A Community-Based Health Promotion Course is a practical-based curriculum. This course provided the sixth year dental students to ‘work with’ people in rural communities. Purposes of study are to gain insight into the experiences of dental students and explore learning outcomes and benefits students reported. It is a qualitative study. Students were assigned to write 1 or 2 specific events and conditions that were significant meanings for them. Data were collected through 255 critical documented essays of students from 2010-2012, using an action-oriented assessment method called Critical Incident Technique (CIT). Data were analyzed by using thematic and content analyses. As a result, students reported a broad range of outcomes and benefits. Their critical incident essays not only showed an achievement of the curriculum objectives, but also illustrated their “deep understanding” in everyday life of local people and community dentists. Moreover, engaging with different groups of people provided students to widen their life perspectives and introspection.

 

Key Words: Learning through practice, Critical Incident Technique (CIT), Dental student’s reflection