Accessible Learning Environments

A Welcoming Classroom: What is Your Perspective?

What is a welcoming classroom? Is this something students appreciate or expect? Is this something faculty consider or strive for? Does a welcoming classroom improve student learning? 

To begin, we can probably all agree that we want all students to feel welcomed and to have equal opportunities to succeed in UFCD courses. Yet how do we practically design these experiences with a diversity of learners? If we start with course design, and keep this at the forefront of our planning, we are more likely to help all students succeed. 

In our fall course planning, the Instructional Support staff in the Office of Education will introduce course directors to a course mapping template to assist in this process. The Instructional Support web page also includes accessibility tutorials faculty should use before posting learning materials.  https://dental.ufl.edu/about/administration/it-help-desk/instructional-support/is-resources-for-faculty/

(excerpts taken from The Chronicle of Higher Education, By James M. Lang Sept. 27, 2017)


New High Quality Course Awards:  UF + QM

A new statewide initiative to recognize quality higher education experiences in Florida will use a formal peer-review process to designate High Quality Courses at UF. One truly exceptional course at UF President’s Award.

The UF + Quality Matters (UF+QM) initiative will use a scorecard of educational best practices across 11 areas of course excellence to evaluate the quality of a course. These standards cover the following areas of course design:

• Course Overview and Introduction

• Learning Objectives (Competencies)

• Assessment and Measurement

• Instructional Materials

• Course Activities and Learner Interaction

• Course Technology

• Learner Support

• Accessibility and Usability

• Instructor Team Presence

• Community and Relationships

• Feedback

Professors may submit their courses for review by the Quality Assurance Committee through the Office of Faculty Development & Teaching Excellence (http://teach.ufl.edu/uf-qm/).

The UF+QM scorecard can be a useful tool in designing and developing a high quality course. The detailed UF+QM rubric can also be used to self-review your course or work with your instructional designer to identify areas to leverage pedagogical best practices.


The Pedagogy of Psychomotor Skills Development

The most common model discussed in higher education for writing learning objectives is Blooms Taxonomy. Many professors will be familiar with Blooms Taxonomy from the cognitive viewpoint, however Blooms recognizes three distinct domains of learning for student development:

• Cognitive Domain (knowledge or mental development)

• Psychomotor Domain (skills or physical movement development)

• Affective Domain (attitude or emotional transformation)

Dentistry is a discipline where our students have learning experiences in all three domains - from learning basic science concepts cognitively, to engaging in the effective transformation of embracing dentistry as a profession, to learning the psychomotor skills to become a successful practitioner in clinic.

In the Psychomotor Domain, practice and repetition are emphasized to help students develop a fluidity of motion. Time spent practicing becomes the key to success for mastering foundational skills. Measurement of successful learning outcomes is often by speed, precision, execution of techniques, or successful completion of procedures. Dave’s model of Psychomotor Skills Acquisition (1970) rests on the foundation of Imitation. As novices, students need to see and try out examples of a technique with close guidance. They need time to slowly emulate expert movements and the ability to see movements demonstrated multiple times. Careful directions from a teacher who can choreograph or direct their movements with expert feedback helps with the speed of acquisition. Once the movements can be imitated and the intricacies of important components are understood, students are ready for the Manipulation phase. At this level students should be able to perform the basic techniques, but they are still beginners or advanced beginners looking to develop a basic proficiency. At the Manipulation level students are given practice so that the movements gain more confidence and they can become more precise. Students can begin to self-assess their progress at this stage in small ways. For example: timing their own movements to see if they have gained fluidity, assessing the execution of techniques by showing an expert the outcomes of a procedure, or self-assessing their gained precision with complex movements. At the Precision level we are looking for movements that are consistently accurate and coordinated. This is where competency reviews by an expert would enter into the educational assessment of students. At this level our students will be entering the clinics and continuing to develop skills as they work with patients.

Understanding how our dental students learn and progress through the Psychomotor learning domain can be a helpful tool in designing learning objectives and outcomes assessments for your courses.


Vision 2030: A Blended Pharmacy and Dental IPE Collaboration

At the 2018 ADEA Annual Session in March, Gail S. Childs, RDH, MPH, and Venita J. Sposetti, DMD, presented and co-authored a poster with Kathryn J. Smith, PharmD; Carol M. Stewart MS, DDS, MS; and Diane E. Beck, Pharm.D, about UF’s new interprofessional collaboration with dental students and pharmacy students.

The learning experience used a blended three-part instructional design: 1) communicating professional roles and responsibilities, 2) collaboration in treatment of a medically complex standardized patient (SP) case and 3) prescribing and prescription writing with feedback and appropriate documentation in the electronic health record.  

This study was approved by the IRB as exempt. Ninety-three third-year dental students and 236 second-year pharmacy students were placed into interprofessional teams.

In part one, students completed the Jefferson Scale of Attitudes Toward Interprofessional Collaboration (JeffSATIC) and a roles and responsibilities knowledge quiz (RRKQ) for the other profession. Students used an online tool (Big Blue Button) to discuss roles/ responsibilities of their professions.

In part two, students collaboratively reviewed a medically complex SP case, formulated questions and interviewed the SP. Teams developed acute care treatment plans and dental students wrote prescriptions. Pharmacy students provided feedback to the dental students on their prescriptions. Team-based learning questions were posed to the entire group to complete the active learning session.

In part three, the post-experience, students completed a JeffSATIC, a RRKQ, documentation of the patient encounter and completed a program evaluation. 

Pre/post experience participation rates (JeffSATIC and RRKQ) and programmatic feedback for dental and pharmacy students were high (94 percent and above). From four-paired T tests on the JeffSATIC, there was a small, but significant difference in the attitudes of female pharmacy students from pre test to post test. There was no significant difference in the other three groups. A paired T test for students in both professions on the RRKQ resulted in no significant differences on pre/ post attitude or knowledge assessments between dental and pharmacy students. For dental students, the mean difference is 2.1538 with 95% CI (-0.6639, 4.9716). P value of 0.1317. For pharmacy students, the mean difference is 1.3151 with 95% CI (-0.3199, 2.9502). P value of 0.1143. Using a binomial test, student responses to four program evaluation questions, all p values are <0.05. Overall students agreed that collaborating on a patient care plan and writing/verifying prescriptions were beneficial experiences. 

In conclusion, the interprofessional collaboration resulted in a novel experience using blended learning technologies, learner-centered pedagogies, mutually relevant content, and students reported the experience was valuable. There was a statistically significant increase in attitudes among female pharmacy students. The earlier D1 & D2 IPE curricular experiences in combination with the short duration of this experience may explain why no significant increase in knowledge or attitudinal changes were observed. Next steps include an adaptation of this experience as part of an IPE competency assessment.


Ask the Librarian - Sarah Meyer
Precision on Public Health and Dentistry

In January, Sarah Meyer was invited to provide the opening presentation for the American Institute of Dental Public Health (AIDPH) at their annual colloquium. This year’s theme was Precision Public Health Dentistry, as a member of the Precision Public Health workgroup at UF, she was excited to share the Academic Health Center Library’s discoveries about this emerging research approach. Precision Public Health is part of the precision paradigm that seeks to transform the healthcare model from one focused on disease management to the prevention of disease. A precision healthcare model requires the intersection of human biology, lifestyle, environmental factors, genetics, data and computational science.  The AIDPH colloquium focused on dentistry and some of the exciting discoveries which will allow delivery of personalized oral healthcare based on identified risks.  To learn more videos of the colloquium presentations are available here: http://aidph.org/colloquium/2018


Employee Updates:
Instructional Support Manager

Ben Mertz is excited to join the Office of Education at the College of Dentistry. As an End-user Computing Specialist ll, he will service and maintain classroom technology and provide instructional support operations and can be reached at 352-273-6589, bmertz@dental.ufl.edu.

Ben enjoys trivia, meditation, astronomy and is interested in sustainability initiatives. He completed an associate's degree from Santa Fe College and plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree at UF. 


Did you know...?
New White Coat Ceremony Date & Location

Be certain to update your calendars with the new White Coat ceremony's date. The class of 2020's white coat ceremony is Saturday, June 16, at 5pm at the UF's University Auditorium. The location is a change from our long-term location at the UF Performing Arts, so please make a note of it!