Theses Doctoral

A Professional Development Program for Dental Medical Educators in Kuwait: Needs Assessment, Program Design and Formative Evaluation

Alyaseen, Haneen Juma

New innovative methods of teaching and learning adopted from mainstream research and development in educational theory and practice are being adapted to serve the unique needs of the medical professions. The success of these methods requires careful planning and establishment of faculty development programs. The purpose of this study is to perform a needs assessment for a faculty development program at the Faculty of Dentistry- Kuwait University, centering on Case-based learning (CBL) and Problem-based learning (PBL) methods of teaching and lesson planning, and to design and test the faculty development digital module that is based on findings from the needs assessment. The author conducted a “proof of concept” mixed methods case study to answer three main research questions. First, what are the perceptions of the current dental faculty about the need for a professional development program? Second, what are the perceptions of, and characteristics and responses to, the learning experiences by a sample of the faculty who experience learning from a set of online professional development modules? Third, what evidence is there that the set of online modules have addressed the needs of the faculty participants? This study was conducted at Kuwait University Faculty of Dentistry. A needs assessment survey was sent to all 44 members of the faculty, of which 34 faculty responded to the needs assessment. The results of the needs assessment showed that overall there was a generally positive response to all of the items pertaining to a need for professional development with 28 faculty expressing interest in participating in an online faculty development program module. However, only 15 of the 28 who expressed interest actually participated in the online module. The results from the instruments embedded in the module showed that 87% of the participants were “satisfied with the module lesson on how to plan CBL lessons. The change in participants’ responses to the last three items of the post-instructional survey pertaining to case-based and problem-based learning was sufficiently large enough to be statistically significant. Future research expanding from this study would help to establish the foundational work to design a more substantial treatment of the various concepts covered in this study in a larger professional development program. The feedback and information gathered from the experimental modules such as used here can serve as a guide to improve and expand future program designs that encourage student-centered collaborative and transformative learning. Additional experimental research is also warranted where the novel designed products for professional development are evaluated by comparing the gains in student learning with the new methods compared to methods more typically used in traditional adult learning and dental education.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Alyaseen_columbia_0054D_13912.pdf Alyaseen_columbia_0054D_13912.pdf application/pdf 1.06 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Anderson, O. Roger
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 22, 2017