Dental teacher feedback and student learning: a qualitative study

Peter Fine, Albert Leung, Ingrid Tonni, Chris Louca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Feedback is essential to improve student learning and motivation and to encourage curriculum development by teachers. This study looked at feedback to and from dental students from a qualitative perspective. Methods: Dental teachers were recruited exclusively to this study from the membership of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE). Delegates from each of the four annual ADEE conferences were invited to attend focus groups to discuss aspects of feedback. Focus groups established an individual theme for the respective conferences: (i) the role of the teacher in delivering feedback; (ii) feedback from the students’ perspective; (iii) changes to feedback due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and (iv) integrating feedback with assessments. Results: Qualitative data collected from the conference delegates were diverse and thought provoking. Delegates reported different styles of feedback varying from individual, personal feedback to no feedback at all. An enforced and mostly positive adaptation to online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic was reported. A partial return to pre-pandemic practices was described. Conclusions: Feedback is well recognized by students and teachers as contributing to learning. A universal approach to delivering feedback as part of the student learning process can be challenging due to a multitude of variables. Many aspects of changes in dental education, teaching, and feedback practices adopted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have been retained post-pandemic, thereby accelerating the anticipated progression to online teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Article number164
Number of pages12
JournalDentistry Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023


  • feedback
  • qualitative
  • dental education

Cite this