The Developing Dental Education Course was launched in August 2008. It aims to build the capacity of dental educators by providing experienced and new trainers in dental education with a foundation of knowledge and skills in some of the core areas detailed in the Guidelines for Dental Educators (COPDEND, 2008). It is a four day course, running over a 6 - 8 week period, rather than a one-off, or two-session course. By 2010, nine Developing Dental Educator Courses had been delivered (two of these were specifically for dental care professionals, which is a tailor made two-day course), and more than 150 participants had attended the courses and a further course was scheduled.
To determine the future funding and development of such a programme, however, it is important and timely to critically reflect on its content, format and impact: how is the programme received by its participants and what is its impact on their dental educator role? Do they feel motivated and/or prepared for further study such as a CertMedEd or PGDip MedEd. This evaluation study provided a formative evaluation of this programme, drawing together evidence for example, of attendance rates, immediate feedback from participants, as well as later, more ‘medium-term’, reflections from those who have taken part in the course.
A comprehensive evaluation is central to ensuring this course is ‘fit for purpose’ and that it meets the learning needs of those in a range of dental educator roles.