Debate as an Adjunct Tool in Teaching Undergraduate Dental Students
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This work is an attempt to explore the potential of a new educational method that integrates debate as a teaching tool. This new teaching method was implemented into a single academic semester of an undergraduate bachelor of dentistry program. We sought to combine knowledge delivery with high-level debate between student debaters, and with the active participation of the audience who were themselves students. The teaching method comprised of three elements namely debates, reply speeches, and policy papers. Debating followed the World School Debate Championship (WSDC) format. Debate evaluation involved five main categories; argument, rebuttal, style, definition and strategy, and points of information (POIs). Student perception towards this educational method was evaluated using a Likert-scale questionnaire. Students gained valuable knowledge from the experience as reflected by the favorable Likert outcome scores. This work sheds light on the potential advantages of utilizing debate as a teaching tool from a student’s perspective. Implementing debate in teaching improved students’ ability to search and appraise scientific papers and proved to be meaningful and enjoyable. The carefully tailored 10-week format ensured good student responsiveness and engaged the entire class in an interactive, participatory setup. This educational method proved to be very effective in evidence-based dentistry teaching by promoting a deeper approach to learning that can help students to learn meaningfully and enhance their critical thinking skills.
KeywordsDental education Teaching methods Student-directed learning
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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