Reflections of Psychomotor Skill Development in Preclinical Simulation: A Qualitative Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

European Journal of Dental Education

First page number:


Last page number:



Introduction: Reflection on competency helps students become more proficient in performing skills, with the ultimate goal of better retention of knowledge and skill. Competency progression involves a complex interplay of factors, and not having the insight of such multiple perspectives of the same experience, we will not be able to understand students as learners fully and consequently may rely on assumption and may not be able to provide the necessary interventions for growth and progress towards competency. This study aims to investigate students' insight of their own progression during psychomotor skill development. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from scanned reflective dialogue log document portfolios from the preclinical fixed dental prosthodontics section, which is part of a comprehensive dental care course during the second year. Data were coded using NVivo software version 12 plus (QSR International Pty Ltd, Vic, Australia), and subsequent thematic analyses identified emerging themes. Results: Three themes emerged and these were (a) challenges to overcome, (b) feed-back and self-appraisal, and (c) progress and growth. The qualitative data generated did not reveal considerable variation in the students' reflections, and the three themes seem to interrelate. Conclusions: The main challenge was the concept of the single path of insertion and the perception that it was a source of frustration during this course. Self-appraisal identified time management issues and the transformation from preconceived or learned concepts. As the semester progressed, students reflected progress and growth.


Academic performance; Preclinical; Prosthodontics; Psychomotor skills; Qualitative design


Dentistry | Medical Education



UNLV article access

Search your library