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Focus on Student Assessment

Assessment of educational outcomes helps to ensure that students acquire the necessary knowledge, technical skills, and problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. Strong assessment helps educators identify curriculum challenges, monitor student learning, and guarantee that students are progressing toward competencies required for entry-level practitioners. In February, LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) faculty members attended a day-long course to evaluate and strengthen student assessment tools and processes.

Suzanne Farrar, RDH, MSHCM, director of clinical staff and patient services, invited Dieter Schönwetter, PhD, to lead the program. An associate professor and director of educational resources and faculty development at Manitoba University in Winnipeg, Canada, Dr. Schöwetter focused on the philosophy of assessment and the tools required to maintain consistent and transferable high standards in the classroom, laboratory, and clinic.

From left, Dr. Paul Fidel, Suzanne Farrar, Dr. Dieter Schönwetter, Dr. Henry Gremillion

While Dr. Schönwetter met with clinic team leaders to discuss the importance of calibration for achieving consistent assessment, remaining faculty members divided into groups to discuss models of assessment, feedback and calibration. The closing lecture focused on the importance of creating valid and reliable exam questions.

A social psychologist, Dr. Schönwetter studies the cognitive dynamics between effective teaching and student learning. Two of his research interests are graduate student development and the digital curriculum in oral health education. His research has led to numerous publications, presentations, research grants, research awards, train-the-trainer workshops, and faculty development workshops. He serves as a consultant for the Academy of Academic Leadership.

The program was coordinated by Ms. Farrar with the assistance of the LSUSD Faculty Development Committee. Paul Fidel, PhD, serves as chair of the committee.

A Day of Giving Back

The first annual “Day of Giving Back” was held on March 14 at LSUSD. Dr. John Portwood, Jr, a graduate of the dental school, suggested the annual continuing education course to raise funds for the school, helping to offset state budget cuts of nearly $6 million. He also generously offered to speak at the inaugural event.

The program consisted of two presentations, “Focus on Life and Financial Planning: 37 Things to Do Before Monday,” and “Investing for Success: What Dentists Need to Know About Investing.” With nearly 60 attendees, a total of $10,220 was contributed to support the preclinical laboratories renovation campaign.

John Portwood, DDS, MS, MAGD, graduated from LSUSD in 1980 and received a master’s degree in financial planning from the College of Financial Planning in 1998. He currently chairs the Academy of General Dentistry Investment Committee. As a certified financial planner, chartered financial consultant, and chartered life underwriter, he is well-qualified to teach others about financial planning and investing.

Among the attendees were Drs. Glenn and Dustin Kidder; Glenn and his family are major contributors to LSUSD and the preclinical lab campaign.

From left, Drs. Glenn Kidder, John Portwood, Dustin Kidder
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Last Update 4/2014