This crossover controlled study aimed to compare the knowledge and skill attained by third-year dental students in three clinical exercises in the discipline of periodontology through video and live lecture instruction.
Students (n = 35) segregated into two group either viewed a video or attended a live lecture repeated over three clinical teaching sessions. Pre-test and post-test written assessments were completed and comparisons between video and live lecture done (analysis of variance, P < 0.05). Students were assessed on clinic by a simple checklist. A questionnaire was administered after all three sessions to determine preferences and opinions on video and live lecture.
For the combined three sessions, both video (n = 48) and live lecture (n = 47) groups attained similar mean pre-test scores. The mean post-test score was statistically significantly greater (P = 0.049) for the live lecture (74.9%, SD 14.9) compared to the video group (68.6%, SD 16.3). All students attained clinical proficiency via the simple checklist. In adding to their clinical skill, more students favoured video (97%) vs. live lecture (78.8%). Most students (97%) favoured a future combination of video and lecture.
While students were deemed clinically competent via a simple checklist, the live lecture group performed better than the video group via the in-depth post-test assessment. Students had a preference for video and would like it integrated in the lecture rather than act as a substitute for the lecture.
The use of video alone in clinical periodontology training may have limitations unless supplemented by appropriate learning activities.