Scaffolding Competence-based Learning Design in the Dental Simulation Curriculum

Richard Foxton*, Jonathan P. San Diego, Emily Lu, Susha Rajadurai, Anitha Bartlett, Clare Mcllwane, Rupert Austin, Pinsuda Srisontisuk, Anika K. Sagoo, Kim Piper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Learning in a clinical domain in dentistry is complex and learners may face uncertain clinical scenarios. A simulation curriculum can be designed to have simple clinical scenarios and learning activities which progress in complexity and employ competence assessments of simulated clinical practice before students can undertake authentic practice on patients. This paper presents how scaffolding of competence can be used for designing learning with simulators (haptics and phantom head) demonstrated in a specific domain in restorative dentistry.

A collaborative workshop as a research approach was undertaken to inform the iterative analysis, development, and discussion on scaffolding the learning design with respect to competence assessments of learning cavity preparation with simulation-based learning technologies. A workshop was conducted, which was collaborative and involved design negotiations between researchers, technologists, and teachers/practitioners in developing the simulation curriculum.

A competence assessment with feedback in a specific domain in preparing interproximal caries was used as a context to describe how the learning activities and outcomes were designed to meet assessment of competence with varied levels of simple to complex learning activities and structured sessions.

Simulation curriculum can be designed and implemented by scaffolding the level of competence that can be learned using simulation between haptics and phantom-head. This brings impetus to the need in meeting the relevant competence criteria in context to a specific affordance of the simulation-based learning technologies to provide optimal patient-centred holistic care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Early online date26 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Dec 2023

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