Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Diverse Learning Experience

Professional Interaction in Dentistry: Enhancing the Behavioral and Social Science Aspects of Problem-based and Clinical Learning across the Undergraduate Dental Curriculum


The original project objective aims to support the conceptual framework of the 4-year undergraduate curriculum reform as proposed in the discussion document Transforming Student Learning which highlights the need for students to engage in ‘multifarious educational experiences’ in ‘meaningful and coherent ways’. The Faculty of Dentistry’s problem-based learning (PBL) philosophy and approach in the undergraduate curriculum is acknowledged as an example of one of the seven distinct features of the new curriculum – interdisciplinary inquiry. However, internal review highlights that the behavioural and social sciences aspects of the current problems can be developed into even more meaningful components of PBL as interdisciplinary inquiry, especially in planning for students who will be entering the University at a younger age under the 334 curriculum reform.

This project has engaged staff in Curriculum Reform in reviewing their current programme outcomes and student learning experiences and the major output has been the enhancement of the interdisciplinary inquiry in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree curriculum particularly as it relates to the psychosocial aspects of oral health provision, including clinical communication skills.


  • Revise the existing behavioural and social components of problems designed for the undergraduate PBL curriculum;
  • Further develop undergraduate students’ understandings of professional interactions with patients and staff in clinical settings;
  • Further encourage critical reflection by undergraduates on the behavioural and social dimensions of their role as health care professionals.

Principal Investigator

Dr. S.M. Bridges, Faculty of DentistryContact

Project level

Faculty-level project

Project Completion

May 2010