Health Education

Health Education Research

For the past two decades, there have been calls for health education to become more evidence-based. This has been interpreted by some as a lack of understanding of social science methodology and outcomes, but there is some truth to these concerns, with historically poor use of methodologies that cannot hope to answer the research questions set. A focus that moves past asking questions other than simply ‘whether’ interventions are effective and focussing on educational research outcomes that are likely to influence teaching practice is needed. Additionally, there is a requirement for a better balance of research that also included clarification studies to ask ‘how’ and ‘why’.

Underpinning the field and evidence in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) process in the UK, was a need for such research to be transdisciplinary and involve educational experts and social scientists. This faculty, linking across UCLan, is well placed to deliver innovative and high quality works that meet this criteria. This rapidly emerging theme is built on the variety of new courses being developed and in turn is driving quality within teaching, learning and assessment.

Examples of current research being undertaken in Dental Education are:

Title: Do the entry qualifications and skills of successful applicants to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree course predict performance throughout the degree? (BDS Admissions Project)
Leads: Karen Rouse, Susan Groves, Nara Tagiyeva-Milne
Outline: The aim of the study is to assess the predictive value of a graduate entry BDS selection process. The research team is seeking to determine whether students with lower A level grades struggle during BDS and whether A level grades predict future academic performance.

Title: Using flipped learning in Dentistry – a cross-school action research project to discover how best to empower students to meet their learning outcomes effectively
Action Research Team: Karen Rouse, Vicky Buller, Neil Cook, Gary Cookson, Sarah Duerden, Mark Gilbert, Shalini Kanagasingam, Aengus Kelly, Beverley Littlemore, Susan Page, Nara Tagiyeva-Milne, Nadia Shah, Dominic Stewardson, Leah Taylor, Richard Welbury
Outline: The aim of the study is to investigate whether undergraduate and postgraduate dental students who are based remotely from Preston learn more effectively using the flipped learning approach than with traditional didactic teaching. The study design is an action research project where the intervention is to flip various learning events in courses across the School of Dentistry that are usually delivered didactically. Staff delivering flipped sessions are participant researchers; students attending the flipped sessions are offered the opportunity to participate. Quantitative and qualitative data are being collected and these will be triangulated to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in the learning events that are included in the project.

Title: Dental Education Centre (DEC) Impact Project
Leads: Karen Rouse, Dominic Stewardson, Jennifer Kuroski (Edge Hill)
Outline: The aim of the project is to discover how the DECs have impacted on UCLan’s dental students, and on dentists and dental nurses working at the DECs and within surrounding communities. Study 1 explores dental students’ opinions of the DECs and their attitudes towards providing dental care in the local communities; in particular, how working at the DECs may have influenced these attitudes. Study 2 explores how the clinical supervisors believe that supervising students at the DECs may have impacted on them as supervisors and their own general dental practices in the local communities. Study 2a explores how the dental nurses perceive the DECs to have impacted on the students, patients and the local communities.

Title: Student-tutor partnership initiative
Lead: Nara Tagiyeva-Milne
Outline: student-staff post MSc collaboration on small-scale projects (primary/evidence synthesis) with the aim to continue former students engagement with research, further understanding of the methodology through practical application of skills and publication of a paper in a peer-review journal. This is a new initiative and we are currently working on three projects.

Title: Online learning including curriculum development and pedagogy
Leads: Karen Rouse, Gary Cookson
Outline: The aim of the study is to investigate and develop new pedagogical approaches using technologies to enhance and advance teaching and learning. It will be an action research project and it is in its early stages of development.

Meet The Team

Senior members of the Health Education Research Theme include:

  • Morris Gordon
    Head of Welfare, Professionalism, Transition and Careers, Health Education Research Theme Lead

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