Investigating Assessment Methods for Clinical Skills using the HapTEL Simulator

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper



To compare the traditional and haptic techniques used to assess dental BDS1 students’ clinical skills with psychometric assessments of the students’ spatial reasoning and dexterity skills.


Two consecutive cohorts of 144 BDS Year 1 students’ (Phase 1 and Phase 2) were trained for a term, using the traditional phantom-head dental work-stations in rotation with the hapTEL virtual work-stations. The students were pre- and post-tested for their spatial reasoning and manipulation skills using standard psychometric tests. The students’ clinical skills’ results, collected traditionally at the end of each Year 2 second term, were compared with the hapTEL logs of their performance in preparing a cavity and their psychometric test results.


We found that two of the psychometric tests (fine motor skills and spatial relations) did not show any correlation with the practical clinical skills performance. However, the students who scored the highest using the hapTEL system scored higher on their psychometric test results than those who performed less well.

Conclusion: The results from these two studies (Phase 1 and 2) show that by using the virtual hapTEL system through logging students computer operations, providing immediate and more accurate feedback than those used traditionally students can result in a higher student performance of cavity preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIADR General Session and Exhibition 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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