Significance of primary factors influencing students’ performance at the College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

Department of Prosthetic Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (Impact Factor: 0.41). 08/2012; 62(8).


Objective: To determine the effect of different enabling factors such as curriculum, role of faculty, academic advising and availability of learning resources and supportive services on the performance of students pursuing their Bachelor\'s degree in dentistry.
Methods: Data was collected from the male and female students of the College of Dentistry, King Saud University, during the academic year 2008-2009. All undergraduate students (576) constituted the total sample size of the study. The respondents were requested to fill a questionnaire form, which was specially designed in accordance with requirements of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE). The questionnaire comprised 45 questions addressing all aspects of the relevant factors. The five-point Likert scale was used to evaluate the feedback. All the responses (239) were thoroughly examined and only the completely filled forms (169) were subjected to regression analyses, taking student`s CGPA as a dependent factor and a depiction of their performance. The t-tests were also worked out to evaluate variations in the responses of male and female students to each sub-factor.
Results: The study showed a significant impact of faculty and learning resources and support services on a student\'s achievement (a= 0.05). Surprisingly, academic advising and the dental curriculum had non-significant effect at 95 % level of confidence. However, the critical analyses acknowledged that the non-significant impact was due to poor performance of the two factors.
Conclusion: The role of faculty and learning resources as well as of support services had significant effect on students\' performance. However, there is an immense need to improve the level of academic advising and revise the curriculum to have a significant impact of these factors on the student\'s achievements.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To estimate the degree of self-assessed knowledge among dentists in Sweden and Saudi Arabia regarding temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in children and adolescents using a summative form of assessment and further to investigate the possible factors that may influence the self-assessed knowledge. Materials and methods: A questionnaire survey covering four domains (Etiology; Diagnosis and classification; Chronic pain and pain behavior; Treatment and prognosis) regarding TMD knowledge was used. Out of 250 questionnaires (125 in each country) a total of 65 (52%) were returned in Sweden and 104 (83%) in Saudi Arabia. Results: Self-assessed individual knowledge was significantly associated to the level of actual knowledge among the Swedish groups in the domains Etiology; Diagnosis and classification and Treatment and prognosis (p < 0.05). However, in the Saudi Arabian groups a corresponding significant association was only found in the domain Diagnosis and classification (p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study showed that there is a difference in the accuracy of self-assessment of own knowledge between the dentists in Sweden and Saudi Arabia. The Swedish dentists have a better ability to assess their level of knowledge compared to Saudi Arabian dentists regarding TMD in children and adolescents. This difference could be related to several factors such as motivation, positive feedback, reflection, psychomotor, and interpersonal skills, which all are more dominant in the Swedish educational tradition.
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