Benefits from peer teaching in the dental gross anatomy laboratory

Jennifer K. Brueckner, Brian R. MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of implementing a rotating dissection schedule on the attitudes and performance of firstyear dental students in the gross anatomy laboratory at the University of Kentucky. In 2002-2003, half of the students assigned to each cadaver dissected the assigned objectives during the first 90 min of the laboratory session. During the last 30 min, the non-dissecting group members came into the laboratory and had the day's dissection demonstrated and explained to them via peer instruction. Dissection responsibilities rotated with each laboratory session. Eighty-eight percent of student participants were satisfied with the rotating dissection approach according to a mid-term survey, and this satisfaction level remained unchanged at the end of the semester for most students. Students' perceptions of the quality of peer laboratory presentations varied, with only 44% rating them as good or better. Eighty percent of students perceived that rotating dissection did not impede their performance, and this was confirmed by analysis of grade data. Student satisfaction and the ability to devote additional weekly curriculum time to studying anatomy in a very compressed curriculum were the main student-described benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Basic science instruction
  • Gross anatomy
  • Laboratory
  • Peer instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry (all)


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