Adams School of Dentistry: Policy on Evaluating DDS Student Performance

Unit Policy


Adams School of Dentistry: Policy on Evaluating DDS Student Performance


Each DDS student's academic and patient care performance must be reviewed throughout the semester.

A. Faculty and Course Director Evaluations

Student performance will be monitored regularly during the semester by faculty and course directors. This includes student compliance with the ASOD Technical Standards in all academic environments. When and where appropriate, faculty and course directors should construct their grading and assessment systems to evaluate students' attitudinal, behavioral, interpersonal, and emotional attributes; their stamina, intellectual and communication skills; and their visual, auditory, tactile, and motor competencies. If opportunities for improvement are required, the student will be advised and an appropriate course of corrective action(s) will be prescribed by course directors. Legacy course directors should notify the appropriate Teaching Committee when students are identified as having deficiencies. The Comment/Commendation form (can be found on the Faculty Commons at the bottom left menu) is highly recommended for notifying the Teaching Committee and Academic Affairs of deficiencies and recognitions deemed significant for review.

B. Course Directors

At the end of each semester, the director of each course, in consultation with the course faculty as necessary, will review student performance according to guidelines established at the beginning of the course. A final grade is assigned for all courses (P/F). At the end of each semester, course directors post final grades. If a student earns a grade of F, the course director, in consultation with appropriate course faculty as needed, will make a recommendation for remediation or provide other comments about the student's performance and potential. The grade and comments will be presented to the appropriate Teaching Committee/Phase Team and the Academic Performance Committee/Student Progress Review Team for their review and recommendations.

C. Teaching Committees

All grades, comments, and recommendations from the course directors will be reviewed by the appropriate Teaching Committee. After thorough consideration of all course grades and students' overall performance, they will forward comments and recommendations to the Academic Performance Committee/Student Progress Review Team. The comments and recommendations made by the Teaching Committees are advisory to the Academic Performance Committee/Student Progress Review Team. In the absence of recommendations made by the Teaching Committees, the Academic Performance Committee/Student Progress Review Team has the authority to make decisions on a student's recent performance and overall academic record.

D. Exams

1. Guidelines

  1. Single evaluation vs. multiple evaluations: It is recommended that course grades are not based on a single examination (assessment), such as a standalone final exam.
  2. Preparation, administration, and security of assessments must adhere to the Adams School of Dentistry Standard for Written Assessment Administration and Security.
  3. Preliminary scores can be released following the completion of the exam/quiz. Course directors reserve the right to make the necessary adjustments to validate scores for the exam/quiz. Grades will be considered definitive and should be distributed to students within two (2) business days or up to ten (10) business days for essay and similar style exams. Appropriate adjustments for exams include the following:
    1. Correction of incorrectly keyed exam item.
      1. Ex. 2+2=
        1. 1
        2. 2 (Initial keyed answer)
        3. 3
        4. 4 (Correction)
      2. In this example, the answer option that was originally keyed was done so in error. The question and answers are valid and accurately assess the knowledge of the student. The question would be kept on the exam.
    2. Dropping of an exam question due to error in the question stem.
      1. Ex. The sky is:
        1. Blue (Initial keyed answer)
        2. Gray
        3. Cloudy
        4. Clear
      2. In this example, the question is unclear and results in multiple correct answers. As a result, the question does not provide an accurate assessment of student knowledge. This question would be dropped resulting in the removal of the question and any points associated with the question.
    3. Dropping of an exam question due to error in the question answer options.
      1. Ex. During which age range should a child be brought to a dentist for a first visit?
        1. 0 to 3 years (Initial keyed answer)
        2. 1 to 4 years
        3. 2 to 5 years
        4. 3 to 6 years
      2. In this example, all answer options overlap in time intervals and create options that do not accurately reflect the knowledge of the students. This question would be dropped resulting in the removal of the question and any points associated with the question.
  4. Grades may be posted as long as confidentiality is maintained (i.e., no student can determine the grade received by another student). Students should have the opportunity to review their examinations using a process determined by the course director, which can include but is not limited to return of the exam.

2. Exam Schedule

The schedule for each semester's final exams will be published and distributed with the semester class schedule prior to or at the beginning of each semester.

3. Requests for Changing Exam Schedule

Any requests for changes in the timing of an individual exam or in the final exam schedule must be made to the appropriate Teaching Committee by a course director or student representative within the time frame designated by the Office of Academic Affairs. Once the examination schedule is finalized, any further proposed changes will only rarely be reviewed and must have the permission of the course director and a very high proportion of the voting contingent of the class. Any changes in the exam schedule must be approved by the appropriate Teaching Committee. Course directors may schedule the final examination during the final week of classes, with the exam scheduled during the course's regular class time.

E. Patient Care Performance and Patient Care Responsibilities

For obvious reasons, evaluation of students' performance in patient care activities requires special attention. The Clinic Care Coordinators and clinical faculty closely monitor and regularly evaluate student performance in patient care.  If a student's performance is deemed questionable or substandard at any time during a semester, the Academic Performance Committee/Student Progress Review Team reserves the right to evaluate the student's performance at any time during the semester. It can authorize a remediation plan, disciplinary action, suspension of clinical privileges, or dismissal.

F. Practice Readiness

Successful completion of the DDS program includes an evaluation of evidence regarding a learner’s ability to consistently perform all tasks within the scope of general dentistry with quality and independence as outlined by the Entrustable Professional Activities and Capacities. Learner progression towards practice-readiness is assessed in multiple ways through frequent and meaningful assessments until graduation. This provides a constellation of data using various perspectives that allow for a more holistic view on learner performance. Assessment modes are varied, occur in multiple settings, and are observed by multiple faculty members.  

G. Communication Skills: Assessment and Remediation

  1. Grade: Students are observed with a patient or standardized patient using a communication skills performance checklist. This assessment is graded on a Pass/Fail basis;
  2. Remediation and reassessment: Remediation may include reviewing the communication skills checklist and practice with an instructor or standardized patient. To demonstrate remediation, the student will be observed and evaluated again with a patient or standardized patient. Failure of the reassessment or remedial activities will be remanded to the Academic Performance Committee for a review of the student's academic status.

H. Mock Board Examination (MBE)

  1. All DDS students must pass both the Prosth/Endo and Restorative/Perio portions of the MBE.
  2. The Prosth/Endo portion is typically conducted in the fall semester of the third year. Students must pass or successfully remediate this portion of the MBE to be approved to take the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA) exam. The Restorative/Perio portion of the MBE is conducted in the fall semester of the fourth year and must be remediated if not passed..
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Article ID: 131285
Thu 4/8/21 9:05 PM
Mon 10/30/23 9:03 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Executive Vice Dean for Education
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
07/25/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
10/16/2023 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/25/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/25/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
12/14/2020 8:20 AM

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