• Junaid Sarfraz Khan
  • Saima Tabasum
  • Osama Mukhtar
  • Maryam Iqbal


Background: Curriculum broadly falls into two categories, prescriptive and outcome-based. In theprescriptive curricula emphasis is placed on teaching with generally little integration between subjectsand across disciplines. Currently, universities in Pakistan are undergoing a cultural change in thecurricular design in order to apply an outcome-based learning instead of prescriptive teaching.Regionally, the need for change was recognised on account of the vast body of evidence availableinternationally. In order to bring about a shift towards an outcome based curriculum in the 4-year BDSprogramme, we first need to specify the outcomes/traits that the dental health professionals should beable to demonstrate upon leaving the programme. This paper describes the process and outcome ofarriving at the desired consensus through a series of workshops involving all stakeholders includingstudents, community members, teaching faculty, programme directors and representatives of the dentalhealth industry. Methods: A series of workshops were conducted between September 2009 to February2010 in all of the 18 disciplines of basic and dental sciences individually and then collectively. Aquestionnaire sought responses from the participants regarding their perception about the status of thecurrent BDS curriculum and their understanding of an outcome-based integrated curriculum, as well aswhether such an integrated curriculum should be adopted or not? In the second half of the workshopthrough brainstorming and Delphi technique, the outcomes in terms of measurable traits that should bepossessed by a graduate dental health professional entering community service were enlisted. The preand post-workshop questionnaire scores were entered into SPSS-16 and paired sample t-test as well aschi-square test were applied. Cron back alpha value of <0.05 was taken as statistically significant.Secondly, the outcomes developed in each workshop were entered into Ethnograph® and commonoutcomes of the 4-year BDS programme were extracted. Results: In total, 234 participants attended theworkshop over a period of five months in 18 discipline-wise workshops and four integrated workshopsinvolving faculty members of all disciplines. Results indicate clearly that the workshop resulted in anattitude shift of the participants and their perception of the current curriculum and the need andrationale for a move towards an outcome-based curriculum. The 30 outcomes identified were groupedunder two categories namely ‘clinical skills’ and ‘professional behaviours’. Conclusion: Defining thefinal programme outcomes is only the initial step in developing an outcome-based, objective, integratedcurriculum which will require considerable work in the future.Keywords: Baccalaureate of Dental Surgery, Punjab, outcome-based curriculum, learning objectives,competencies


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