Table 3

Selected examples of comments made by students and faculty members in study: summary of qualitative data by area (407 total comments received)

AreaComments by StudentsComments by Faculty Members
Technology integration
  • Electronic textbooks are convenient for searching keywords and usually cheaper than printed ones; however, they are difficult to read. Printed [books] are preferred for reading.

  • Technology integration should be a supplement rather than a replacement for facts and lectures.

  • Most students are computer software literate and do not require formal computer software training. Training on school management software is necessary.

  • Printed textbooks are generally preferred by faculty. The portability and ability to search through electronic textbooks are the main advantages of electronic textbooks.

  • Technology integration cannot replace solid instruction. Creativity and engaging stories are superior.

  • Software fluency is expected before matriculation into dental school. It is a core competence.

Instructional strategies
  • Problem-based learning is important as a supplement to lecture-based learning. PBL alone is not sufficient.

  • Community service is valuable, occasionally a waste of time.

  • Conducting research by students should be optional. Lack of time or lack of interest is the main reason for that.

  • Exams are important; there is no alternative or substitute.

  • Problem-based learning depends on the subject. It is important. It should be used only as an adjunct to structured didactic training.

  • Community service should be beneficial for both students and patients.

  • Conducting research by students should be optional and only for those who are interested.

  • Students must be evaluated.

Student diversity
  • Best-qualified applicants should be admitted based on merit, regardless of their background (i.e., race, gender).

  • Diversity is highly desirable, but admission for the sake of diversity should not be at the expense of a better applicant.

  • It is unfair to accept less-qualified applicant, and standards of admissions should not be lowered for the sake of diversity.

  • The current level of diversity in students is appropriate and should neither be increased nor decreased.

  • Best applicants should be admitted, regardless of their background (i.e., race, gender). Acceptance into dental school should be based on academic standards.

  • Diversity is highly desirable, but several admitted students for the sake of diversity struggle in their studies.

  • Students currently are highly diversified.

  • Diversity in student body at the present is appropriate and should not be changed.

School duration
  • The four-year duration is either insufficient to learn dentistry or not utilized properly.

  • The duration of dental school should not be increased. In fact, three-year duration may be appropriate. However, an additional year of practical training is beneficial.

  • Increasing duration would increase tuition and students’ debt. Therefore, this is unfavorable.

  • Clinical and practical instruction in dental schools should be increased.

  • The four-year duration is not sufficient; it should be increased or better if students pursue a residency.

  • Additional training beyond dental school such as a one-year residency should be required. It would improve clinical learning.

  • Education cost would be a major concern if duration of dental school is increased.

  • The clinical experience that students are receiving nowadays is deteriorating. Additional residency or specialty training is important.