Debra Scott Schultz
of: Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Title: A Model for Using the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination Results as a Method of Outcomes Assessment
Date: Friday, September 10, 2004 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
2008 WMU/ Grand Rapid-Beltline Campus
Dr. Carl Woloszky, Chair
Dr. Louann Bierlin-Palmer
Dr. Katherine Manley
Abstract: This research examined the use of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) results as a part of a comprehensive outcomes assessment plan, for the purpose of driving curriculum decisions. Because dental hygiene program graduates must pass the NBDHE to obtain licensure, dental hygiene programs are held accountable for student success (i.e., the pass rates) on board exams. Dental hygiene programs are also held accountable for outcomes assessment plans through a 7-year accreditation cycle under the auspices of the American Dental Associationís (ADA) Council on Dental Accreditation. According to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (1999), accountability must be a thoughtful process that requires a plan of continuous outcome assessments, using a variety of indicators, one of which is the NBDHE results. Use of the NBDHE results allows for curriculum decisions to be data-driven and not based merely on thoughtful decisions.
This study used t-tests and ANOVAs to examine NBDHE results from 1998 to 2003 Dental Hygiene Program within Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) to answer four questions: (1) How did GRCCís dental hygiene program perform on the NBDHE compared to the national NBDHE averages? (2) Did any subject areas consistently bring GRCCís NBDHE
scores down? (3) Did curriculum changes in GRCCís dental hygiene program impact NBDHE scores? and (4) Does a correlation exist between NBDHE scores and particular preparation resource and/or preparation strategies? A NBDHE student feedback survey, in addition to the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination results, was used to answer the last question.
As a result of this study, it is recommended that the NBDHE results be used to continuously monitor the performance of all dental hygiene programs as part of a comprehensive assessment plan. The NBDHE results can provide both external and internal assessments on an ongoing, continuous basis, which can be used to develop action plans according to the results. Such plans for action should be substantiated by the data and monitored to determine improvement over time. Recommended plans of action should include, but not be limited to, new methods of instruction, professional development of the instructors, and early diagnosis and treatment of student learning problems.
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